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the bistro off broadway
Candidates in local contested races speak to Darke County Republican Men's Club Members & Guests
Good turnout for introduction of Primary Candidates

Darke County Republican Men’s Club…
By Bob Robinson

The Brick Room at Brethren Retirement Community was nearly full Saturday morning as Darke County Republican Men’s Club members and interested citizens had an opportunity to meet the Republican candidates they will be voting for in March.

The annual event is presented so voters will know the qualifications and goals of the candidates. This year the Primary will have three locally contested positions on the Republican Ballot: Darke County Clerk of Courts, Darke County Juvenile Probate Judge and Darke County Commissioner. Since the Primary by State Law is an opportunity for Republican voters to choose their candidates for the General Election in November, they will have to ask for the Republican Ballot.

Darke County Clerk of Courts

Cindy Pike, incumbent, said that while serving as Clerk of Courts, she has worked to upgrade the computer system for storage of records and is currently scanning documents so they will be available by computer search rather than having to pull file folders.

She also noted that although workload has increased dramatically, her number of employees has been reduced by one through attrition. She said her staff was loyal and although occasionally an employee would leave for a better opportunity in the private sector, they typically stayed until retirement.

“I’m a fiscal conservative,” she said, “who is actively involved in the community. I see that as part of my responsibilities as a public servant.” She also noted that despite being a Republican she serves equally all who enter her office, regardless of party.

Amanda Farley, challenger, was unable to attend the event. In an email Saturday to County News Online, she said:

“I would like to thank you for inviting me to your club meeting for meet the candidates.  I am sorry that I am unable to attend.  I could not switch to have the day off of work. This election is very important to me, as are my other current responsibilities, which unfortunately, are not always conducive to a busy campaign schedule.

“I have a web site set up, the address is  Again thank you for the invite and I am truly sorry that I cannot attend.”

Darke County Juvenile Probate Judge

Jason Aslinger, currently serving by appointment, said that Gov. Kasich appointed him approximately 10 months ago. Upon assuming his duties he had about six weeks to prepare his first budget.

He reorganized his office, cutting the budget by approximately $130,000. He noted they were mostly services the office wasn’t using anyway.

He said the biggest challenge the office faced was substance abuse among juveniles. They would be charged and usually waited two months prior to seeing the judge, potentially with continued substance abuses.

“Now they are ordered into Drug Court every two weeks, along with their parents. This increases their accountability.”

He added that his goal was to have the best and most efficient court possible.

Jim Detling, attorney, offered his background of real estate, probate and bankruptcy practice in small and large firms, and in his own private practice. He added that he was Judge Mike McClurg’s Magistrate for four years.

“My vision on the juvenile side is to nip the problem before it occurs,” he said. “I will visit schools and see how we can reach pre-teens to discourage dangerous behaviors.”

Detling noted that there was a shortage of guardians to serve as the county’s population got older. He said he wanted to set up a program to recruit volunteers.

He also noted that there are two courts involved in families with juveniles. If the couple is married, it is Judge (Jonathan) Hein’s Common Pleas Court. If the parents aren’t married, it is in the Juvenile Court. He said he felt it would be more efficient, long term, to work to combine these two functions into a Family Court.

Darke County Commissioner

Diane Delaplane, incumbent, said that in her first year as Commissioner she was involved in two budget cuts due to declining revenue. As a result of continued work on the county’s budget, “we now have a very healthy county.”

Delaplane said that due to a high Moody’s rating, the county was able to refinance notes into bonds, saving the county $300,000 in interest. The money was used to make needed repairs to county buildings.

“We have to be creative due to the continued loss of state funds,” she said. She also noted that sales tax revenues have increased as more people shopped in the county. She said that the county’s excellent Economic Development program has been acknowledged by Dayton Development and at the state level.

Delaplane said department heads have worked well together, helping the county with its finances; noting also that the future of the county is “in your hands.”

Aaron Ward, challenger, noted his background in finance, saying that he will maintain a viable flow of income for Darke County and lessen expenses where applicable.

The sixth generation Darke Countian is Chairman of the Darke County Chamber of Commerce Legislative Committee and has been listed as an outstanding professional by the Darke County Chamber of Commerce for the last three years.

“When I was on the Darke County Fuller Center for Housing, formerly the Habitat for Humanity, we would meet once a month to pick which bills we wanted to pay,” he said.

“When I left after nine years as president, we had $180,000 in the bank.”

Ward also said that he is a Greenville Township Volunteer Fire Department Captain, noting his leadership capabilities and eagerness to give back to the community.

Unopposed and opposed local and regional candidates also had an opportunity to speak to the group:

Jim Buchy, State Representative; Mike Rhoades, Darke County Commissioner; Jeff Welbaum, Second District Court of Appeals; and Kelly Ormsby, Darke County Prosecutor.

Darke County Republican Club members also spoke on behalf of state and federal candidates who were not present:

John Keller for Josh Mandell, U.S. Senator; Joe LeMaster for Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum; and Ken Wombold for U.S. Representative John Boehner.

County News Online sent out a questionnaire to each of the local candidates in the contested primary. They were published last week. With the exception of Aaron Ward, who chose not to respond, here are the links for each of them:

For Amanda Farley, Clerk of Courts, click here
For Cindy Pike, Clerk of Courts, click here
For Jason Aslinger, Juvenile Probate Judge, click here
For Jim Detling, Juvenile Probate Judge, click here
For Diane Delaplane, Commissioner, click here

A nearly full Brick Room heard twelve candidates or their spokespersons seek voter support in the Primary.
Cindy Pike, Darke County Clerk of Courts
Jason Aslinger, Juvenile Probate Court
Jim Detling, Juvenile Probate Court
Diane Delaplane, Commissioner
Aaron Ward, Commissioner


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