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2021 Clermont Chamber of Commerce Election Preview and Voter Guide


On Tuesday, our community will elect members of township Boards of Trustees, Village or City Councils, and Boards of Education throughout Clermont County. Each of these entities are so important and vital in their own distinct way. Your Board of Trustees or Council oversee a variety of topics, such as zoning regulations, public safety, economic development, and parks and recreation. Your Board of Education oversees how our schools operate. One could argue that the members of these entities have more of an impact on your daily lives than anyone in Columbus or Washington, D.C.

These are the top five races that I will be watching on Election Day.  

Please note: this information is solely my opinion and does not represent an endorsement of any candidate by either myself of the Clermont Chamber of Commerce.


Clermont County Clerk of Municipal Court

VOTE FOR ONE

Tim Rudd* – campaign page

Ralph Vilardo Jr. – campaign page

Paul Kamphaus – campaign page

Clermont Chamber Candidate Forum: watch here

Why it is interesting: Tim Rudd has been the Clerk of Municipal Court for 18 years and this is the first time he has faced serious opposition. Paul Kamphaus is a retired Sheriff Deputy and Ralph Vilardo is a firefighter for the Miami Township Fire Department. Both Kamphaus and Vilardo have built sizable bases of support throughout the county and have ran substantial and professional campaigns. Tim Rudd is a seasoned campaigner having previously been the chairman of the Republican Party.

My prediction: Vilardo has a lot of name recognition in Miami Township and Milford, Kamphaus has a lot of support throughout the law enforcement community across the county, and Rudd has county-wide name recognition and the benefit of incumbency. This race will depend on which candidate can get their voters to the polls on Election Day, therefore, I call it a toss-up.


Union Township Board of Trustees (Top Two Win)

VOTE FOR TWO

John Becker – campaign page

Joe Dills – campaign page

Bob McGee* – campaign page

John K. McGraw* – campaign page

Chad Quick – campaign page

Clermont Chamber Candidate Forum: watch here

Why it is interesting: John McGraw and Bob McGee are both running for re-election and have a strong argument to remain on the Board given the economic success in the township over the last few years. However, John Becker is a seasoned campaigner and Joe Dills is seen as a rising star in the County. Chad Quick is relatively new to the political scene in the township and is running as an “outsider.”

My prediction: With a lot of anger from the Miller Development case, divisive rhetoric used by some community activists against the current administration, and the emergence of a political action committee supporting the incumbents, it’s hard to see where this race ends up. The last trustee meeting highlighted just how divisive and energized this race has become. I call it a toss-up because all candidates have sizable amounts of support from various groups and neighborhoods.


Pierce Township Board of Trustees (Top Two Win)

VOTE FOR TWO

Renee Gerber – campaign page

Pete Kambelos* – campaign page

Nick Kelly* – campaign page

Linda Spitzmiller – campaign page

Clermont Chamber Candidate Forum: watch here

Why it is interesting: Nick Kelly and Pete Kambelos are running for re-election, however, Dr. Kambelos was appointed in 2021 and is seeking his first full term. Both Nick and Dr. Kambelos have run positive and professional campaigns based on the track record of the township over the last couple years. One big topic in the township has been the dissolution of the former village of Amelia, which led to the former Mayor-elect, Renee Gerber, to seek a seat on the Board. Linda Spitzmiller, a retired banker, is also running for a seat on the Board.

My prediction: There is definitely a base of supporters behind Mrs. Gerber and her effort to provide a voice for residents of Amelia on the Board. It’s hard to see exactly how big that base is, but they are loud and energized. I predict Nick Kelly will win re-election but the second seat is a toss-up. While the voices of the Amelia residents are loud I’m not sure it will be enough to bring home a win for Renee, however, this campaign is a first for Dr. Kambelos.


Miami Township Board of Trustees ( Top Two Win)

VOTE FOR TWO

Mark Schulte – campaign page

Karl Schultz* – campaign page

Mary Wolff* – campaign page

Why it is interesting: Both Mary Wolff and Karl Shultz are running for re-election. However, Mary is running her campaign alongside Mark Schulte, a local businessman, instead of with her fellow Board member.

My prediction: Mary has consistently been the top vote-getter in Miami Township, so I predict she will easily win re-election. Between Karl Schultz, who has been on the Board for many years and has established name ID, and Mark Schulte, who is running as a “new voice” for the Board, I call it a “toss up.”  


Milford Exempted Village School District Board of Education

VOTE FOR THREE

Jerry Combs – campaign page

Jana Bonner – campaign page

Christopher Hamm – campaign page

Melissa Hendricks Nolan – campaign page

Emily Mason – campaign page

Bea Norris – campaign page

James Rhodes – campaign page

Joe Krimmer

Candidate Forum : watch here

Why it is interesting: Only one incumbent is running for re-election and that is Chriss Hamm. Given the current political climate consuming Boards of Education across the county – from Critical Race Theory to mask mandates – this race has gained a lot of local attention.

My prediction: Turnout will be everything. Between this race, both levy campaigns (for the new middle school and the City’s park levy), I think turnout will be highest in the Miami Township and Milford precincts. Where that leaves these candidates is a toss-up.  

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Full List of Candidates and Races




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