State senator to run for Warren commission

Updated Dec 03, 2015

Ohio Sen. Shannon Jones, R-Clearcreek Twp., has announced plans to run for a seat on the Warren County Board of Commissioners.

Jones is to run for the seat currently held by Commissioner Pat South, who will not seek re-election. The Republican primary election will be held March 15.

Among those supporting Jones’ candidacy are South, Commissioner Dave Young and State Rep. Ron Maag, R-Salem Twp., who has pulled petitions to run for the office.

“I have served with Shannon in the General Assembly for seven years and I know that her number one priority has always been the people of Warren County,” Maag said in a press release issued by Jones on Thursday. “Her work ethic and her focus on fiscal responsibility will serve Warren County citizens well and I know she is committed to putting the interests of our community first.”

It was unclear whether Jones would face opposition in the GOP primary. Former Commissioner Mike Kilburn has also pulled petitions to run for South’s commission seat.

If Jones were to win the seat, the Senate Republican caucus would pick a replacement to serve out the remaining two years on her term.

On Thursday, Kilburn said Jones’ candidacy for the commission seat could be a signal she would throw her support behind Maag to replace her. Jones could not be reached for comment.

Kilburn said he was trying to line up endorsements, but not from South or Young, who is expected to seek re-election.

Kilburn, who in May said he was also weighing a run for Maag’s seat, declined to commit to the commission race.

“I’m interested in coming back,” Kilburn said. “I haven’t decided.”

Both Jones and Maag are facing term limits in their state offices, although Jones’ term runs another two years.

“Term limitations have really changed the landscape,” South, who will have been a commissioner for 24 years, said in May when Maag pulled petitions to run for her seat. “You never went back. You always kept going up or stayed at the same level.”

Jones hadn’t filed Thursday for the commission seat at the election board office in in Lebanon, but said she was running.

“It’s a good opportunity. I’ve spent my career in public service and this is a chance to continue that service,” Jones said.

The March primary race for Maag’s current seat is expected to include Ray Warrick, chairman of the Warren County GOP and fiscal officer in Hamilton Twp., Clearcreek Twp. Trustee Steve Muterspaw and Franklin Councilman Scott Lipps.

Warrick and Muterspaw have filed to run.

Jake Fryman, a Democrat from Carlisle, also pulled petitions for this race.

The deadline to file to run in the March 15 election is Dec. 16.