ELYRIA — Lorain County Commissioner Ted Kalo defeated challenger Berry Taylor in the Democratic primary on Tuesday.
Kalo, who is seeking his third four-year term, will now face off against Republican Phil Van Treuren, an Amherst City Councilman who was unopposed in the primary for his party’s nomination, in November.
According to unofficial returns from the Lorain County Board of Elections, Kalo took 14,288 votes, or 61.1 percent of the vote in his primary contest. Taylor, a Carlisle Township trustee, received 9,100 votes, or 38.9 percent of the vote.
Kalo said he believes his victory can partly be explained by the power of incumbency, but also because the county’s Democrats approve of the work he’s doing as commissioner.
“I’d like to thank the voters of Lorain County. It looks like they believe I’m doing a good job as county commissioner,” Kalo said Tuesday.
Taylor said he worked hard in the race, but overcoming Kalo’s status as an incumbent was difficult.
“If the voters are happy with the way the county’s been going for some time, then that’s what they think,” he said. “I just hope we can get things turned around, but we’ll see.”
Van Treuren said he believes that Kalo’s status as the incumbent will actually hurt him and other current office holders when November rolls around.
“I’m excited for the general election and there’s going to be a very sharp contrast between me and Ted Kalo,” he said.
Van Treuren said people he’s talked to are upset with how the county has managed its money and the sales taxes the commissioners have tried to pass.
Kalo said he hasn’t run from his belief that the commissioners should raise the sales tax to deal with the budget woes of county government. He said he believes voters understand where he’s coming from even if they have rejected the sales tax hikes he’s backed.
“I feel it’s going to be an exciting race,” he said.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.