PDT Staff Writer
All eyes will be on Scioto County and the city of Portsmouth Tuesday night, as it the community is being labeled by some as the swing county and swing city of the swing counties and swing cities targeted by both presidential candidates.
Conventional wisdom is the reason it is important for presidential candidates to campaign in Scioto County is that while Democrats outnumber Republicans, Independents outnumber the other two, meaning if a candidate for president carries Scioto County, they will more than likely carry Ohio.
For example in the last four elections, Scioto County voted for Bill Clinton twice, then turned around and voted for George Bush twice.
When voters go to the polls Tuesday, there will be other important issues that will bring them out to the polls.
Arguably, the hottest issue next to the presidential race is that of the City Center/Justice Center project endorsed by Portsmouth City Council and a political action committee known as Progress Portsmouth. The opposition to the measure comes from the Coalition for Better Government, which complains the increase in the city property tax from .70 to 3.80 is too large, while Progress Portsmouth believes that since the city owns both the Marting's building -- targeted to be the City Center, and the Adelphia building -- earmarked for a Justice Center it makes sense when it comes to being used as opposed to building from scratch or building onto the Adelphia building to combine all services in one location.
Two Scioto County Commissioner seats are up for grabs in this election, incumbent Democrat Mike Crabtree is being challenged by Republican George Crumm, while incumbent Democrat Tom Reiser's opposition is Republican Doug Coleman.
While most other county office holders are running unopposed, one office with opposition is Scioto County Recorder, where longtime Recorder Irene Ashley is up against Loren Purdom.
County Engineer Craig Opperman, Clerk of Courts Lisa White, Sheriff Marty V. Donini, Treasurer William K. Ogg, and Coroner Dr. Terry Johnson are all alone on the ballot.
Voters in the Village of New Boston will be deciding on whether they want new schools or not.
If passed, the funds collected (about $3 million) would be used to pay the local share of funding for a new nearly $20 million K-12 school building.
On the U.S. Congressional scene, Scioto County is divided into two districts.
In the 2nd District Incumbent Republican Jean Schmidt is being challenged by Cincinnati Physician, Dr. Victoria Wulsin, a Democrat, and Independent candidate David Krikorian.
In the 6th Congressional District, present Congressman Rep. Charlie Wilson is challenged by Richard Stobbs.
Republican incumbent State Senator Tom Niehaus' is opposed by Democrat Gregory A. Napolitano and Libertarian M. Ann Leach.
Scioto County Board of Elections officials are expecting a large turnout for the historic presidential election.