Three surprise Republican candidates stepped forward and Karen Justice received the Outstanding Republican Award at the 93rd annual McKinley Club dinner Thursday.
Terry Boose, of rural Norwalk, will run for state representative. Chuck Furey, of Norwalk, will run for the commissioner seat now held by Ralph Fegley. Bill Alfred, of rural Monroeville, will run for county treasurer.
Furey, 60, who has spent 38 years in banking, is friends with Fegley.
“There’s no way I’d run against him. I’m a rookie (at politics). There’s a lot to learn and I’m willing to take the time to learn.”
Alfred will run against Kathleen Schaffer, now in her first term.
Alfred works at Sutton Bank in Willard.
Boose will face Matthew Barrett, of Amherst, who is in his first term.
Gary Bauer is running for a second term as commissioner.
“Four years ago we embarked on a journey,” he said. “A lot has been accomplished.”
Capt. James Bracken, who filed his petitions to run for sheriff to replace Dick Sutherland, said he was excited for the chance to serve as sheriff. Bracken, who is Sutherland’s step-son, said replacing the long-time sheriff wouldn’t be easy.
“I’ve got a big pair of shoes to fill,” Bracken said.
“And a big pair of pants to fill,” called out Coroner Jeff Harwood, also running for another term. The quip drew laughter.
Susan Hazel, clerk of courts, and Tim Cardwell, probate and juvenile judge, also are seeking a second term as Republicans.
Boose, who served as county commissioner from 1997 to 2004, was just elected Norwalk Township fiscal officer last month.
“I will take over that position Jan. 1 and serve it all of 2008,” Boose said.
Boose, 51, said he had several people ask him in the past two weeks about running for the 58th district seat.
“I talked to a few people and then with my family and decided for sure a day or two ago.”
He needs to file petitions filed by Jan. 4.
“I need to talk to the Republican Caucus and get a committee together,” he said. “There’s a lot of work to do.”
Boose feels he can take what he learned from the county commissioner post and translate it to the state level.
“I can take a lot of it. One, it helped me to understand government, especially local government. I think I can build on that.”
Boose said he’ll run a clean campaign.
“There are a lot of places to go and a lot of people to meet,” he said.
Fegley talked about his decision not to run.
“I said last night, ‘I have good news, I’m not running again and I have great news, Chuck Furey is running in my place,” he said.
Fegley, 67, said his reason also was health-related.
“I had a severe bout with prostate cancer,” he said. “And that really changes the perspective on what is important. All my life I felt I was invincible and I could do anything.
“This has been a great job — a terrific job, with great experiences,” he said. “It’s flashed by in a hurry.”
Fegley’s term runs through 2008.
Karen Justice, president of Bellevue City Council and currently acting mayor, was honored with the Outstanding Republican Award for her years of work for many candidates.
“She has worked tirelessly for the Republican party for many years, usually for other candidates,” said Loretta Meacham as she announced the award. Meacham said Justice was always willing to help campaigns. When Justice’s sons were too young for long walks, she put them in a wagon along with the campaign literature and took them along on door-to-door campaigns, Meacham said. Justice is Meacham’s niece.