November 25, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
35°F

Election 2014: Medina finance director to challenge county auditor

Medina’s longtime finance director will challenge the county’s longtime auditor in November.

Medina Finance Director Keith Dirham, 38, a Republican, filed Wednesday with the Medina County Board of Elections to run for county auditor.

No other Republican filed to run for the auditor’s post, so Dirham will be uncontested on the May primary ballot.

Medina Finance Director Keith Dirham files petitions Wednesday at the Medina County Board of Elections to run for county auditor. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY PAMELA J. MILLER)

Medina Finance Director Keith Dirham files petitions Wednesday at the Medina County Board of Elections to run for county auditor. (PHOTO PROVIDED)

Democrat Mike Kovack, 52, has been elected county auditor five times after being appointed in 1993. He also will be uncontested in the Democratic May primary.

Wednesday was the deadline to file for the May primary.

In January, Dirham was sworn in for his fourth term as finance director. He was uncontested in the 2013 election for that seat.

“I have accomplished a lot here at the city and consider this a potential opportunity to take those accomplishments to the county level,” Dirham said, adding that several people approached him about running for county auditor.

Dirham said whoever is elected county auditor in November wouldn’t assume the job until March, so Medina City Council would have several months to appoint a replacement for him if he is elected. Per the city charter, Council would have that responsibility.

Prior to serving as Medina finance director, Dirham worked for former state Auditor Jim Petro for four years. During that time, he said he often worked with county auditors as part of his duties.

Dirham is a member of the Ohio Government Finance Officers Association, where he serves as a trustee and on the education committee. He also serves as president of the North Central Ohio Municipal Finance Officers Association and is a member of the Ohio Association of Public Treasurers.

Michael Kovack

Michael Kovack

For the past four years under Dirham’s guidance, Medina has received Certificates of achievement for excellence in financial reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.

During his tenure as county auditor, Kovack’s office has received a number of awards as well. The county has received 21 superior finance awards from the Government Finance Officers Association and received the outstanding auditor award from the County Auditors Association of Ohio. There also have been 21 clean audits from the state during his time in office.

“I think it’s important to have a qualified and competent auditor and team in office and we currently have that,” Kovack said. “We are very proud of what we do.”

Contact reporter Pamela J. Miller at (330) 721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.