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GOP poised to name replacement

Tom Jackson • Mar 25, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Matt   Damschroder really likes working as a firefighter.

   So much so that he’s given up a good job — Sandusky County commissioner — to take a job as a Fremont firefighter. His last day on the job as a county commissioner was Friday.

   Damschroder, 32, of Lindsey, said the city of Fremont’s personnel policies will not allow him to be involved in partisan politics.

   “There was a county commissioner in Seneca who was a commissioner and also served on the Tiffin Fire Department” he said.

   Fremont’s policies won’t allow that, and Damschroder has been trying to join the Fremont Fire Department for some time.

   “It’s one of those things I’ve always really enjoyed,” Damschroder said.

   Even though he has landed a fulltime firefighter job in Fremont, that’s not enough firefighting for him. He also plans to continue serving as a volunteer firefighter in Lindsey.

   “It’s a volunteer job, so if you’re available, you go” he said.

   Damschroder said although he couldn’t pass up the opportunity, he enjoyed being a county commissioner.

   “It was a bittersweet decision” he said. “I am sad to leave the county. It was a good group of people to work with”

   Damschroder also had to remove his name from the ballot for this year’s elections.

   His exit from the race leaves two candidates for his post: Republican write-in candidate Charles Schwochow, 58, of rural Fremont, and Democratic candidate Wilson Forney, 49, of Fremont. If Schwochow wins his write-in campaign, his name will be on the ballot in November as the Republican candidate, said Barb Tuckerman, director of Sandusky County’s election board.

   Meanwhile, because Damschroder is a Republican — he’s distantly related to another local Republican politician, state Rep. Rex Damschroder — Sandusky County’s Republican Party will name a replacement to fill in for the rest of this year.

   Schwochow is a candidate for that appointment, but other candidates are also being allowed to apply, said Justin Smith, chairman of the Sandusky County Republican Party. The Republican Central Committee plans to meet April 8 to make a decision.

   Smith said it makes sense to him to name Schwochow to the post, so he can run as an incumbent.

   “I’m speaking personally,” Smith said. “I think it makes the most sense for the party”

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