Harrison County Commissioner William Host is facing a challenge from Paul Coffland for Host's commission seat, with a term commencing Jan. 3.
The winner will serve for the next four years in running Harrison County's operations.
- Host, a Democrat from Bowerston, is ending his second term as a county commissioner. He is a former operator of a lumber and hardware store plus has been in the real estate and auction business for 40 years.
He said his experience as a commissioner makes him the right candidate for the job.
"The county is in the black and much better off than when I started," he said. "I think that money has been managed better during the past eight years than in a long time."
Harrison County also is in the middle of the Utica Shale region, and the county has been working with developers to ensure responsible growth of the industry.
He said the county has increased its use of technology during his tenure.
"911 has been implemented during my term and we are currently working on implementing high speed Internet. We have a clerk that is very educated in computer work and I depend on her" for assistance. And "with the oil and gas industry emerging in a big way in Harrison County, I would like to be a part of that expansion."
- Coffland, a Republican, said his ability to deal with people, his communication and negotiation skills make him the right choice for commissioner.
"The next decade - and more importantly the next four years - Harrison County is going to have tremendous opportunities," he said. "If we don't have the leadership with the vision to guide our county's future we will miss an opportunity to secure our future. I have that vision and will be out of the office in the community supporting our townships and villages fighting for Harrison County."
Coffland has served as a village councilman, school board member, coach and on numerous community organizations including the Harrison County Regional Planning Commission.
"My private sector experience working and managing a small family owned business is an asset. ... This economy has forced us all to do more with less. Bringing new perspective and energy to the commissioner's office ... will allow me to work with everyone for improvement."
He sees opportunity with technology as it pertains to the natural gas industry.
"I believe we need to partner with this industry and build our infrastructure so we can promote our county and attract the long-term business that provides local jobs," he said. "Improving and preparing our youth for the possible jobs coming with oil and gas is another concern. As chairman of Advance Harrison, I am developing programs and relationships with that industry and our own county businesses to broaden our work force."