Colerain Township Trustee Dennis Deters can use the middle name “Joseph” on the ballot when he runs for Hamilton County Commissioner this year, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted ruled Wednesday.
Husted broke a tie vote taken at the Dec. 21 meeting of the Hamilton County Board of Elections.
At that meeting, the two Democrats on the board objected to the Republican Deters’ wish to use “Dennis Joseph Deters” as his ballot name, producing a raft of documents where he had used “Dennis Deters” or “Dennis P. Deters.” They claimed he was trying to trade on the name of his more famous older brother, county prosecutor Joseph T. Deters, who is running for re-election this year without opposition.
The two Republicans on the board said “Joseph” was part of his legal name and produced his 1975 birth certificate which listed his given name as “Dennis Patrick Joseph Deters.”
They split along party lines on whether or not to certify Deters for the ballot with the middle name “Joseph.” The secretary of state casts the deciding vote when a board of elections has a tie vote.
Joshua Eck, a spokesman for Husted, said the secretary of state decided that Joseph “is a very clear derivative of his given name” and should be allowed.
Deters is likely to become a county commissioner next month. Republican Greg Hartmann resigned from his county commission seat on Monday; and the Hamilton County Republican Party executive committee is expected to name Deters as his replacement early in January.
This fall, Deters will face Democrat Denise Driehaus, who is term-limited out of the Ohio House, for a four-year term as county commissioner.