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Boggs facing contest in primary

4 Dems to fight for chance to meet

The son of an Ironton judge, who recently was named to the No. 2 job in the county department of job and family services, now wants the seat of one of the commissioners who approved his appointment

Just 10 minutes before the deadline Christopher Collins, son of Ironton Municipal Judge O. Clark Collins Jr., filed to run against incumbent Lawrence County Commissioner Les Boggs in the Republican primary.

This would be Boggs’ attempt for a third term on commission and Collins’ first try at a county elected office. Joining them in the GOP race in March is former Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship, who just finished his second term as the city’s leader.

In May, Collins, a former statehouse legislative aide, was appointed assistant director of the DJFS, following the retirement of director Gene Myers. Terry Porter, who had the No. 2 spot, was moved up as director. A total of 13 candidates, including Blankenship, sent in resumes for either or both positions. Both men were unanimously appointed to their jobs by the county commission.

The winner of that primary will face Coal Grove businesswoman DeAnna Holliday in November.

The other commission seat up next year is held by Bill Pratt, who is going for his second full term. Pratt will vie in the Republican primary against Ohio University Southern professor David Lucas, the second time the two men have faced off.

In April 2011, Pratt and Lucas sought a commission seat after longtime commissioner Jason Stephens was elected county auditor the previous November. Since Stephens, who is a Republican, had just under two years on his four-year term, it was up to the Republican party to decide on Stephens’ replacement.

Also wanting the post at the time were Proctorville businesswoman Marsha Imhoff, Fayette Township Trustee Perry Brock and Proctorville businessman Bob Mayo.

The first ballot had Lucas in the lead with Pratt and Imhoff tied, forcing two more ballots. That ended with Pratt taking the lead and Lucas coming in third.

On the Democratic side four want the seat: former commissioner Doug Malone, Ironton businessmen, Jon Ferguson and Tim Edwards, and Proctorville businessman Jason Tolliver.

In 2008 Tolliver tried to unseat Stephens, but lost in the primary when he came in second to Wayne Pennington, beating out Paul Carmon, in the Democratic primary.

To get on the ballot candidates must have 50 valid signatures of registered voters of their party and turn in no more than 150 on their petitions. Only one candidate, Malone, turned in the top number with Ferguson, the least, at 69. Pratt had 143 signatures; Lucas, 107; Tolliver 133; Edwards, 145; Boggs, 105; Blankenship, 108; Holliday, 132; and Collins, 92.

The primary is March 15.