Ancient Roman poet Ovid famously claimed “A horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace.” For incumbent Hocking County Prosecutor Kyle Henderson, another horse just entered the race.
A local prosecutor’s race might not seem worth being interested in for anyone living outside of the Buckeye State. However, a prosecutor’s job is becoming increasingly high profile, especially with the various clashes between unarmed civilians and law enforcement officers. For example, Baltimore’s Marilyn Mosby, a state’s attorney, was thrown into the spotlight last year when she filed charges against six police officers in her own city.
Incidents like these, however, haven’t made headlines from Logan, Ohio. There, Kyle Henderson, a Democrat, was under the impression that he would be running unopposed in an effort to remain prosecutor of Hocking County, Ohio come the election in November. When Jason Sarver, the Republican candidate running opposite Henderson dropped out of the race in July, it appeared as though there would be no competition for the position. With the deadline for filing for the ballot–August 10–approaching quickly, no one had stepped forward to take Sarver’s vacated spot on the Republican side of the ballot until just a week before the deadline.
With the deadline looming, two Republicans stepped forward to announce their intentions to run against Henderson. Alisa Turner and Ben Fickel, both attorneys, met with the Republican Central Committee to determine who would run opposite Henderson. Fickel was ultimately chosen after receiving the bulk of the votes from the committee members.
Fickel, now with less than two months to before the election, has began to run aggressive campaign to help make up for time lost. His campaign has been canvassing Hocking County, recruiting family members and friends to help reach all four corners and let voters know that Henderson is no longer running unopposed.
“I’m eager to get out there and meet the voters and let them know they do have a choice and don’t have to take what’s just given to them,” Fickel said. His opponent, Henderson, was appointed County Prosecutor after Laina Fetherolf resigned in May of 2016, citing a desire to spend more time with her family.
According to the Republican Central Committee members, the resignation of Fetherolf–a Democrat–came with little surprise. Both her work ethic and her professionalism were lacking during her tenure, which would not be an issue for Fickel according to Chair of the Republican Party Scott Vermillion, who called Fickel “a very accomplished local attorney, a good family man and young and energetic.”
Entering the newfound race with months of campaigning, preparation and canvassing already under his belt, Henderson may be a few lengths ahead of Fickel in this race, but the Republican nominee has more than enough room to close the gap.
“He has lots of energy to devote to the race, and though he’s entering it late — he’s still very much up to the challenge and ready to work hard for the election,” said Vermillion.