Race for Wood County sheriff's seat heating up

Reported by Dick Berry email

Posted by Kate Oatis email

WOOD COUNTY (WTOL) - Independent Mark Hummer is challenging Republican incumbent Mark Wasylyshyn on the November ballot for Wood County sheriff.

For every sign asking to folks to re-elect Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn, there's another one asking voters to replace him with Mark Hummer. The two are engaged in a battle to oversee a department with 120 workers and a $7.5 million budget.

Hummer has been in law enforcment since 1984. He's currently Lake Township's police chief and says he's a cop first and a politician second, claiming it's the other way around with his opponent.

"The law enforcement comes first. You need to have a strong grasp of what the issues are facing the county," Hummer said.

Wasylyshyn, who's seeking his second term, says he's a public servant first, believing one should lead by example.

"Life is politics. Yes. Do I have to be in good standing with the commisisoners? You call that politics, yes. I'm into the poliltics of life," Wasylyshyn said.

The northern part of Wood County is heavily populated and commercial. The south is rural and agricultural, with areas Hummer says are ignored by existing road patrols.

"The road deputy job is to be out in the townships and villages patrolling, to grab the type of rural crimes we experience in Wood County," Hummer said.

The sheriff claims he serves all of Wood County.

"When the deputies are not tied up on calls, they should be on duty stopping, deputies on call -- there should always be deputies south of 6," Wasylyshyn said.

Both candidates agree on the need to expand the county jail.