11/20/07

AFSCME boss favored for County Commission

Democrat Charlie Adkins Friday officially announced that he will run for Athens (OH) County commissioner in 2008. The Albany resident is one of at least six Democrats who have said they intend to run for the seat currently held by Commissioner Bill Theisen, who has announced that he is not running for re-election.

Adkins filed his candidacy with the Athens County Board of Elections on Friday and also held a press conference at the Courthouse. The only other candidate to file so far is Aliene Linwood.

Four other candidates confirmed earlier this fall that they plan to run, but they have not filed yet. Those candidates are Jim Pancake, Robert Baughman, Doug Davis and David Ratliff.

No Republicans have announced they will run, and no candidate from either party has announced he or she will challenge incumbent Democrat Mark Sullivan, whose seat is also up for election in 2008. Sullivan has filed to run again next year.

The primary election will be held on Tuesday, March 4. Ohio holds its primaries in May in most years, but moves the primaries up to March during presidential election years.

Dale Tampke, former member of Athens City Council, introduced Adkins at the Friday press conference and said his knowledge and experience make him a strong candidate. Adkins is a former union president at Ohio University, leading the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1699 Council 8 for 20 years.

He also chaired the statewide Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) board for several years. Adkins is retired from OU and currently works for Sickles Septic Tanks.

"He cares about people," Tampke said, adding that Adkins would be accessible to county residents.

Adkins said that as a commissioner, one important area for him will be working to support veterans.

He also wants to help township governments and senior citizen organizations in the county, he said, and would work to bring more events and activities to Athens County, especially in the summer, in order to increase tourism and help the local economy.

Adkins said he's proud of his record working for union employees at OU, and of his 30 years of service working for the Richland Fire Department, which serves areas near Athens but not in the city.

He has experience working on budgets and serving area residents, and said he can do a good job as a commissioner.

With so many candidates running in the race, Adkins said it was important for him to officially announce his candidacy early and to get out and tell people about his campaign.

His father, Tommy Adkins Sr., is an Athens Township trustee and a former Athens County commissioner. He served as a commissioner from 1989 through 1992.

(athensnews.com)

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