Meet the candidates: Gallia County Commission


Staff Report



Saunders

Saunders


Stapleton


Greene


Smith


Editor’s Note: As we approach the March Primary Election, the Gallipolis Daily Tribune will be running articles allowing the candidates in contested races to introduce themselves and tell the voters why they are running for office. Each candidate is asked, in their own words, to respond to two questions — tell us about yourself and why are you running for this office — with a word limit set for each response.

GALLIA COUNTY — In the March Primary, Republican voters in Gallia County will be picking candidates to compete for two of the three county commission seats come November.

Q. Jay Stapleton of Crown City will be running against fellow Republican and incumbent Gallia Commissioner Brent Saunders in one primary race.

Also, incumbent and Gallia Commissioner David Smith faces fellow Republican, Gene Greene of Gallipolis, in another primary contest.

In today’s “meet the candidate” profiles, the Tribune looks at the two contested races between GOP candidates, allowing those candidates to introduce themselves to voters prior to the March primary.

Submitted information from Saunders and Stapleton is listed below, with candidate profiles appearing in alphabetical order:

Brent A. Saunders

Tell us about yourself

I, Brent A. Saunders, am in my eighth year as a Gallia County Commissioner and am seeking re-election. I am a graduate of GAHS, obtaining degrees from Heidelberg University and West Virginia University, as well as, School Administrative Certification from Ohio University. I taught in West Virginia/Ohio for twenty-seven years, Assistant Principal at GAHS for ten years, and Principal of GAMS for three years. During many of those years I was also an assistant wrestling and football coach. In 1983, I was privileged to become the head football coach at GAHS. I held that position through 1997 and from 1999-2001. Blessed with forty years in education, I retired in 2012.

My wife, Nell, and I have been married forty-seven years and have four children and ten grandchildren. I have been an active member of Faith Baptist Church for approximately thirty-five years, serving on the Deacon Board for many of those years. A sinner, saved by the grace of God, far from being perfect, my desire is… “to be the best I can be” in glorifying Jesus Christ. For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised. Psalm 96:4a

Why are you running for this office?

As a current Gallia County Commissioner, I am seeking re-election for some of the following reasons:

Continue to maintain a balanced budget while experiencing various cutbacks;

Continue the plans for building a new jail facility;

Continue to maintain quality departments throughout Gallia County;

Continue to interact with Federal, State and other County Governments;

Continue to work with Hopewell to develop health programs at our acquired property from GDC;

Continue to meet Ohio EPA requirements for Gallia County;

Continue to forge forward with the economic development of Gallia County.

I enjoy and wish to continue with pride in serving the citizens of Gallia County. Throughout my life I have rested in Proverbs 3: 5,6. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Not my will….but HIS be done.

Q. Jay Stapleton

Tell us about yourself

My name is Quentin Jay Stapleton. I am one of nine children belonging to Jack and Merry Stapleton of Crown City. My grandparents were the late Jim and Harriet Davison of Gallipolis, and Carl and Leslie Stapleton of Crown City.

Mary Ann Stapleton is my wife of twenty-nine years. We have four children, Quentin Jay Jr, Warren Michael, Luke Anthony, and Dana Marie, and two grandchildren, Scarlett and Braxton.

I have lived in Gallia County all my life. I am a 1989 graduate of Hannan Trace High School. I attended Buckeye Hills Career Center the last two years of high school. I have been self-employed since the fall of 1997.

Why are you running for this office?

One reason I am running for the office of Gallia County Commissioner is because I want to help improve on the county we live in. I am looking forward to learning what the members of our community see as their chief concerns and then working with them to address those concerns. I have encountered a number of very qualified men and women who work for the county and I feel they are an excellent source of support, information, and resources to help in our efforts to serve our county residents. I want this to always be a good place for my children and grandchildren to live and work, as well as your own. I want them to always be proud to call it home.

Submitted information from Greene and Smith is listed below, with candidate profiles appearing in alphabetical order:

Gene Greene

Tell us about yourself

Born and raised in Gallia County. Served in the United States Army, Vietnam Veteran. Dedicated fiscal conservative of our citizens’ budgetary funds. Thirty-three years with Kyger Creek power plant, retired as assistant engineer. Served as City Manager of Gallipolis for five years. Proven leader having served on several organizations. Experience working with law enforcement personnel, budgets and safety.

Why are you running for this office?

First of all, I think the county commissioner should be a five-day-a-week commissioner to meet the needs of the county and public. With all that is going on with the county today – sewer lines, roads, bridges, jail construction and health care costs – Thursday is just not enough. We need a commissioner with experience in those fields, on site as well as in the office, watching citizens’ budgetary funds. Also, if we have a full-time commission, then we can work on bringing new business to the county or adding jobs to the ones we already have. Over the years, our population has went down and the average age has went up, our young people are having to move away to make a living and we have to stop that! We need to improve our community to attract business, we need good infrastructure, law enforcement, easy access to our businesses, all while having a safe place to live and raise our families. I have the experience and drive and with the help of the good people of Gallia County, we, together, can make that happen. Thank you, Gallia County.

David Smith

Tell us about yourself

David K. Smith, the fourth of five children, was raised on a farm in the western part of Gallia County in Perry Township after moving from Southern West Virginia in 1961. His father was a coal miner, World War II Veteran and Merrell’s Marauders. He attended Centerville Grade School and Southwestern High School. After high school, David worked at Bob Evans Drive Inn and then later Holzer Hospital. He attended Rio Grande Community College and then Miami University and graduated with a degree in Chemistry. At the Ohio State University College of Dentistry, David earned a degree in 1983. Upon graduation, he returned to Gallia County and began his dental career. David and his wife, Shana are active in many local community activities and events. He has two grown sons. Hubbell is married and just graduated from dental school in 2019. Boeing is a post graduate student at OSU and should receive his PhD in welding engineering this year. David has continued to practice dentistry in Gallia County for the last 37 years. In addition, he has several businesses located in Gallia County. Many of the skills and knowledge as a business owner, have been applied to his office as county commissioner. These include building design, maintenance, employee management and utilization, reviewing contracts and legal issues. As a county commissioner, he experiences many of the same challenges that he sees in his businesses. David’s experience allows him to be more effective as a county commissioner.

Why are you running for this office?

I first became involved and ran for county commissioner because Gallia County had been good to me. I realized I had some skills and decided I wanted to utilize them to help make Gallia County a better place to live and work.

As I have been in office, I have witnessed the effect of the drug epidemic on all of Gallia County as in all areas of our state and country. We have seen how the legal/law enforcement segment of our general fund spending increased, until now it is taking over 50% of all our local tax dollars. Several years ago, it became evident to me, that because Gallia County was spending almost $1 million dollars a year for out-of-county prisoners’ costs and with the age of our jail and other issues, it was obvious that we must move to replace our current jail. Three years ago, I started working on this project and we are on our way to breaking ground on this much-needed facility this year and complete it sometime in 2022. This is a big project for the county, but I have accepted the need, worked to start it, and I am asking for your vote and support so I may complete it. The jail is a much-needed project that will serve Gallia County for many years.

Saunders
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2020/02/web1_2.18-Saunders-2.jpgSaunders

Stapleton
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2020/02/web1_Jay-1.jpgStapleton

Greene
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2020/02/web1_2.14-Greene.jpgGreene

Smith
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2020/02/web1_2.14-Smith.jpgSmith

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Staff Report