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The Journal Gazette

Friday, April 20, 2018 1:00 am

Editorial

Can't beat Beck

Banker has right experience for commissioner

Allen County commissioner

Republican ballot

District 2

Therese M. Brown

District 3

Richard (Rich) Beck *

Chris A. Spurr

Democratic ballot

District 3

Grant Walmer

Linda Bloom, who has worked in Allen County government for 40 years, plans to step down at the end of this year at the end of her sixth term as a county commissioner. It would be almost impossible for the Republican Party to nominate a candidate with her amount of experience. But Richard E. Beck comes close.

A senior vice president of STAR Financial Bank with decades of experience in the financial industry, Beck has the training to help provide financial oversight over county operations. “Allen County government is efficient,”  he said, “but it can always be improved.” The 66-year-old Beck said he plans to retire from STAR if he wins the May 8 primary and the general election in November. 

After 13 years on the Allen County Redevelopment Commission – the last 10 as its president – Beck has been a key player in the effort to bring new businesses and jobs to the area. He is proud of his role in nurturing development of the Stonebridge Business Park near General Motors and Walmart's regional milk-processing facility on Pleasant Center Road, as well as growth along the Bluffton Road corridor and at B.F. Goodrich and other companies. He has been a supporter of the county's role in downtown development.  

Beck's 40 years of experience as a reserve sheriff's deputy could serve him in good stead as a commissioner as well. “I have a deep understanding of what law enforcement faces,” he said. Among the issues commissioners will have to address in coming years is whether to expand or replace a crowded jail that stands near the path of riverfront development.

Beck's primary opponent is Chris A. Spurr, who turned down an invitation to speak with our editorial board.

According to his campaign website, Spurr is “the managing broker and founder of United Realty, LLC.” and “has been professionally licensed and actively involved in the real estate industry since 2002.”  

Beck, who would face Democrat Grant Walmer in the general election, said “I could hit the ground running” as a commissioner, and it's easy to agree.

We endorse Richard Beck, a candidate who is exceptionally well prepared for the office he is seeking.