Ginter, Cox will seek county commissioner seat

Gun Rights

LISBON — Former Republican state Rep. Tim Ginter and Salem Music Centre owner Ray Cox, a Democrat, both announced Tuesday that they’re running for the Jan. 2 term of Columbiana County commissioner.

The seat will be vacated at the end of 2024 since Commissioner Tim Weigle said earlier this year that he’s not running again. Both Cox and Ginter hail from Salem and officially filed their petitions with the county board of elections to run for their party nominations in the March 19 primary election.

The deadline for candidates to file falls on Dec. 20.

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In a written press release, Ginter said he was excited to announce that he filed to run for county commissioner for the seat being vacated by Weigle “in response to the many requests and promises of support from friends and officeholders.”

“I believe the experience and connections I have been able to acquire in my eight years as state representative, and especially the last two years as a member of House Leadership will be a great benefit as I serve the people of Columbiana County in this vital role.

I look forward to working with our current commissioners to keep our county moving forward and would like to thank Commissioner Weigle for his years of exemplary service and leadership as a commissioner,” Ginter wrote.

Cox outlined his background and said he plans to “run a professional campaign looking at the issues and what we can do together to solve them.”

“Economic development is vitally important in our county government because it creates more opportunity and a better way of life for residents of Columbiana County. It will increase funds to improve county services and allow businesses to grow in revenue as well.

Listening to people across the county is something that elected officials must do. The voters put us in to office to do the will of the people not for their own political gain,” Cox wrote.

“I plan to hold open forums at least once a month to listen to the community and what their needs and concerns are,” he wrote. “I will actively seek out new businesses that will bring better paying jobs to our county, and work to develop more affordable housing. I will listen to the citizens of our county. I am a businessperson that is a problem solver and able to manage large budgets and numbers of employees.”

Cox vowed that he’ll collaborate with the residents to make the county better, to make a difference and together make changes to improve the county “for our children and grandchildren.”

“Speaking with citizens across our county I concluded that the people need a new voice and new direction for Columbiana County, and I want to be part of that,” he said.

An ordained minister for 43 years, Ginter has pastored five different churches and has served as pastor of the Church at the Center in Salem the past 11 years. He received his education at Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Nazarene Bible College.

Ginter served four terms as state representative for the 5th Ohio House District, which encompasses all of Columbiana County. He served as chairs of the Community and Family Advancement Committee and the House Aging and Long Term Care Committee. He was also an appointed member of The Ohio Commission on Fatherhood and served as chair of the Advisory Board of the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

In his last term, Ginter was elected by the Members of the majority caucus to serve as Speaker Pro Tempore of the 134th General Assembly. He was first elected in 2014 and served through 2022.

His memberships include the Ohio Farm Bureau, National Rifle Association, Buckeye Firearms Association, Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, associate member of the Columbiana County Township Association, and member of the Columbiana County Republican Party Central Committee.

Cox and his wife, Jan Schaeffer Cox, owners of the Salem Music Centre, which opened four years ago, have a blended family of eight children and 11 grandchildren.

“We met and married in New Orleans almost 15 years ago and after trips to Columbiana County to visit with my wife’s relatives it just felt to me that we had found our home, and together we made the decision to move here permanently,” he wrote.

Cox said his wife is a Salem native, a graduate of Salem High School, Kent State University and Loyola University in New Orleans. A music major, she and Cox opened the music store to provide lessons, equipment and musicians for events throughout the county.

Cox was born in Alaska and grew up in many different states across the country while his father served in the military for over 20 years. After graduating from high school, he said he also joined the military and served in the Army Reserve and National Guard before beginning a career in law enforcement and private industry.

A graduate of Columbus State University, Cox served in law enforcement in Georgia and Alabama before moving into the private industry, managing security across the gulf coast for major oil companies, hospitals and commercial business. The company he worked for created a position which allowed him and his wife to move to Ohio.

Ginter and his wife of 43 years, Pam, have one daughter, Angie, who lives in Columbia, S.C. with her husband and their three grandchildren, Skyler, Tagg and Zoe.

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