Mark Fox

Mark Fox

Mark Fox said Wednesday he was “honored” to be named the chairperson of the Williams County Board of Elections for the next two years. He’s even more grateful just to be alive.

“A year ago, I didn’t even know if I’d be alive at the end of the year. So to be alive, and to be chosen as chairperson is a double blessing,” said Fox, of rural Stryker, who’s battled a severe case of sleep apnea.

“I had one of the worst cases of sleep apnea (his doctors) had ever seen,” said Fox, a Democrat and elections board member since February 2007. He noted that mild sleep apnea means a person stops breathing 15 times or less per hour of sleep, moderate means they stop breathing 15 to 29 times per hour and severe means they stop breathing 30 or more times per hour

“At one point when they tested me I would stop breathing 86 times an hour,” Fox said, adding, “I had a case of sleep apnea that was just devastating.”

However, Fox said with the aid of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment, he’s now in good health and ready to take on his additional responsibilities as elections board chairperson.

“This (chairperson position) just reaffirms how grateful I am to do my part to continue to make sure the elections in Williams County are smooth, well run and fair,” he said.

As part of the annual elections board reorganization, Fox takes over for former chairperson Jeff Erb, a Republican, who remains on the board with fellow Republican Scott Towers. Democrat Paul Duggan also remains on the board and will serve as vice chairperson, or board chairperson in Fox’s absence.

Erb, Towers and Duggan expressed their support for Fox and said they feel confident the board will continue to be amicable and function efficiently.

After the reorganization Wednesday, Erb said the board received eight applications for the position of Williams County election director, to take the place of Mandy Frank, a Republican, who resigned to move to Auglaize County. Frank’s last day is March 22, but with accrued vacation, her last day on the job is Friday.

As Republicans, Erb and Towers will review the applications and Erb said they hope to make a recommendation to the board at the next regular meeting, which is 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, at the board office, 1425 E. High St., Suite 104. The meeting is open to the public.

Also as part of the standard reorganization, Democrat Katrina Ebersole moves from elections director to deputy director.

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