Deadline to file for May primary fast approaching

MARIETTA – The deadline for candidates to file for the May 7 primary is quickly approaching and some incumbents and fresh faces look likely to be on the ballot.

The deadline for candidates to file and for ballot issues is Feb. 6, according to Tara Hupp, director of the Washington County Board of Elections.

The May election will decide who wins each party’s nomination, but will not decide who wins the overall seat, which will happen in November.

In Marietta, all of the seven city council seats and the president of council will be open races.

The same seven city council seats and council president position are also open in Belpre. Additionally, positions are open for Belpre City Auditor, Belpre City Treasurer and Marietta City Treasurer.

So far, there are no county-wide issues or levies expected to be on the May ballot; however, taxing authorities also have until Feb. 6 to place an issue on the ballot, said Hupp.

So far, only three candidates have picked up petitions, she said.

The petitioning process requires candidates to get a certain number of signatures from the constituents they wish to represent. Picking up a petition is only a first step and does not necessarily indicate a candidate will ultimately file for any given race, added Hupp.

Currently, Marietta City Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward, is the only incumbent to have picked up a petition, said Hupp.

Though they have not yet picked up a petition, at least three other city councilmen indicated that they plan on running again.

Roger Kalter, D-1st Ward, who is currently serving his first term as city councilman, said he hopes the voters elect him to a second term.

“We’ve made some progress this year and we’ve got a long way to go,” he said.

Steve Thomas, D-3rd Ward, also plans on running for a second term.

“We’re going to focus on just trying to keep all of the city services going, all of our fire, police, water and streets, and all our administration,” he said.

Harley Noland, D-at large, also plans to seek re-election.

“I think the next few years are going to be challenging with the lack of inheritance tax coming into the city,” he said.

Michael Mullen, I-at large, said he has not made any final decisions, but anticipates filing for another term.

As an independent, Mullen’s name will not be on the primary ballot. Therefore, he has until the primary to file for the general election.

Councilman Mike McCauley, D-2nd ward, said he is likely to run again.

At least one city councilman will not be seeking another term. Denver Abicht, D-at large, retired from his full-time job in August and plans on also hanging up his hat as councilman when his term expires at the end of 2013.

“I’m just going to enjoy my retirement,” he said.

Marietta Council President Walt Brothers couldn’t be reached for comment about his plans.

In Belpre, Republican Will Neff is currently serving his third term as council president and plans on running for a fourth, he said.

New faces are guaranteed in both treasurer races. Current treasurer for the city of Belpre and former Belpre Mayor Bill McAfee said he will not be seeking another term.

“It’s time to retire for the third time,” he joked.

In Marietta, city treasurer Valerie Holley also announced plans to retire.

“I’ve done five terms, 20 years. It’s somebody else’s turn now,” said Holley.

Holley added that the office of treasurer in Marietta has been held by a Republican for the last 40 years or more.

Marietta resident Stan Lang, 60, of Colegate Drive, could continue that tradition. Lang, a Republican, has picked up a petition for the position and said he intends to run.

Lang has previously managed a store and currently works as a merchandiser for several companies.

“I do have management as a background so I know how to manage a profit and loss statement,” said Lang.

The third petition was picked up by James Griffith, 68, of Lois Street, Belpre.

Griffith picked up a petition for the position of treasurer in Belpre. However, after discussing it with his wife, he decided he was not going to ultimately file for candidacy, he said this week.