Election signs have cropped up like mushrooms throughout Marysville and the surrounding county this month, but two local names have been moving to the forefront among the state and federal slogans the green-and-yellow signs for incumbent commissioner candidate Gary Lee, and the red-and-white slogans of newcomer Sarah Dingledine.

Election signs have cropped up like mushrooms throughout Marysville and the surrounding county this month, but two local names have been moving to the forefront among the state and federal slogans the green-and-yellow signs for incumbent commissioner candidate Gary Lee, and the red-and-white slogans of newcomer Sarah Dingledine.

Lee, 63, is seeking a third four-year term on Union County's board of commissioners, but this is his first election for the seat with an opponent. A senior partner of Lee Farms, Lee has also served on the county Board of Elections and the Union County Community Foundation.

Lee said the past few weeks leading up to the election have been encouraging.

"The last several weeks have been very positive, we've been out in the community, and a lot of people have been telling me we need to continue with the same opportunities we have in controlling our costs," he said. "So at this point, we feel that our message is getting out to the voters that Union County is a financially solid county, and that we're going to continue to operate that way."

Dingledine, 26, said that she has been leaving work at Marysville-based Univenture Inc. nearly every evening for the past two months to knock on doors and meet county voters.

"Overall the whole experience has been positive," Dingledine said. "I've met so many wonderful, genuine people, and had a lot of good opportunities to speak with people and learn a little more about the overall level of people that live in Union County."

Both candidates have relied upon a fiscally conservative platform to reach county voters.

"What I'm saying is: No new taxes," Lee told ThisWeek. "It's been very clear that the taxpayers are saying at this time that they don't want new, additional taxes."

"My first and foremost goal would be to stay true to the principals of what being a conservative really are, and that's smaller government and maximum individual liberty," Dingledine said. "Along with that, if we want to attract families and small businesses to Union County and to stay in the community, that's got to mean a smaller tax burden for them."

Union County Board of Elections director Bill McCarty said the BOE has experienced an average election so far in terms of absentee ballots mailed and received.

"Things have been going great," he said. "As of (Oct. 27), 2,533 absentee ballots have been sent out, and we've got 1,710 back. That's probably about an average year we've also had over 1,000 vote in person at the machines we have set up, so we're at about 3,600 absentee ballots between the two."

State law requires that absentee ballots not be counted until after the polls close on Nov. 2.

McCarty said that Union County voters are usually more diligent about participating in the election process than the rest of the state.

"I read the Secretary of State's prediction of turnout being at 52-percent, and I think Union County usually runs higher than the state average," he said. "I can't predict the numbers, but everyone around me is saying we should have 60-percent turn out or better."