Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Speidel advances over Morand in Deerfield Twp. trustee race

By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Deerfield Township voters appeared to be ousting their longtime trustee, while voting to keep their township clerk, in Tuesday's early returns.

Trustee candidate Lee Speidel led 61 percent to incumbent Bill Morand's 39 percent with 32 percent of township precincts reporting unofficial returns from the Warren County Board of Elections. Meanwhile, clerk Kristin Spiekerman was leading challenger John Kenny, 71 percent to 29 percent.

The Deerfield Township decisions were among several that voters made Tuesday in township races across Warren County. In Hamilton Township, early results showed voters keeping their trustee, O.T. Bishop.

Speidel and Morand were at odds on several issues, including tax increment financing and how to alleviate traffic along Mason-Montgomery Road, where two major retail developments are under construction and another is being proposed. Morand, a trustee for eight years, has said new side streets will handle the additional vehicles, while Speidel argued that intersection improvements were the answer.

Still, the race was relatively quiet until last week, when Speidel, a farmer, was charged with criminal mischief and accused of stealing one of Morand's campaign signs. Later in the week, Morand filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission, saying Speidel's campaign material was misleading.

A panel found probable cause Monday to hold a hearing, but has not yet set a date for the case to be heard before the seven-member commission.

In Hamilton Township, Bishop was leading his three trustee challengers with 39 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns, with 42 percent of township precincts reporting. Following were Timothy Schoellman with 31 percent of the vote, Kenneth Harris with 24 percent and John Herdman with 5 percent.

Hamilton Township Clerk Jacqualine Terwilleger and Harlan Township Clerk Virginia Williams ran unopposed.


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