Four individuals are vying to replace recently retired Delaware County Commissioner Ken O’Brien.
Donald Worly, Jeffrey Benton, William Glenn and Michael Kelley have applied to fill the seat that unexpectedly came open on July 1 after O’Brien’s sudden retirement.
The Delaware County Republican Party will select O’Brien’s successor.
The process begins with face-to-face interviews with the party’s screening subcommittee, which will prepare a report on the candidates that will be read to members of the party at its Aug. 11 meeting, according to Nelson Kataz, chairman of the group that will interview the candidates. The party will pick O’Brien’s successor that day.
Benton is the former president and CEO of the Delaware County Bank and Trust Co. The Delaware Hayes High School graduate has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Miami University.
He is a member of the party’s central committee. Benton also serves as the vice chairman and deputy treasurer of the party’s executive committee and as treasurer of the campaign committee for Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa Township.
Kelley is the owner of Ostrander Implement. A Buckeye Valley graduate, Kelley attended Ohio State University.
After former Commissioner Dennis Stapleton declined to run for re-election last year, Kelley sought the party’s endorsement for the seat, and fell just four votes shy of receiving its blessing.
However, the screening process was not kind to Kelley last time around.
The committee deemed that he “does not possess the qualifications to hold this office,” according to a copy of the report obtained by The Gazette. “He demonstrated little understanding of the job of county commissioner or county government.”
The report went on to question Kelley’s electability due to his membership in the John Birch Society by stating that “(he fears) this county may elect a liberal Democrat, (and) his candidacy could very well contribute to that outcome.”
Kelley stayed in the race and was ultimately defeated by Commissioner Barb Lewis in the Republican primary.
Worly has a law degree from Capital University law school. He is currently a privately practicing attorney.
He is a former member of Delaware City Council and served as mayor from 1981-1983. He also served as a magistrate in the Delaware County Juvenile Court from 2003 to 2005.
Glenn has a doctorate in health care administration and worked in a Veterans Administration center for 22 years before retirement.
No women applied for the commission seat.
O’Brien resigned his commission seat suddenly July 1 and said changes in the state employees’ retirement system involving his pension was the reason.