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Mike O'Brien

Fellow Dem going after Sullivan's seat

A new candidate was added to a 2012 Democratic primary ballot this past week, when Shade, Ohio, resident Mike O’Brien announced his plans to run for Athens County commissioner.

O’Brien announced his candidacy for commissioner Thursday and will run against incumbent Mark Sullivan.

“I want to see the area prosper,” O’Brien said. “This position can allow me to make a difference.”

County commissioners are responsible for creating and maintaining jobs, delivering welfare, and supervising environmental protection, according to the Athens County Government website.

O’Brien, a 17-year Athens County resident, said he would focus on improving local jobs and infrastructure and promoting sustainable agriculture.

As a former military man and small-business owner, O’Brien said his wide breadth of experience would benefit him as a county commissioner.

“I come to the job with a combination of professional and life experiences grounded in a common sense approach to finding solutions — one that brings people together,” O’Brien said.

The recent controversy surrounding Sullivan, one of three current commissioners, did not influence O’Brien to run.

In March of this year, Sullivan pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges and is under investigation for growing marijuana near his Millfield home.

“I’m running based on my experience and to see the changes to benefit (Athens) County,” said O’Brien, a 2006 graduate of Ohio University. “Nothing else influenced me.”

Athens County Commissioner Lenny Eliason said the voters will make the changes they want during next year’s elections.

“Any change is always up to the people,” he said.


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