Washington County likely to skip primary
MARIETTA – There will apparently be no primary election in Washington County this year, according to the unofficial roster of candidates who filed with the county election board by Wednesday’s 4 p.m. deadline.
The list of 21 candidates contained no challenged races for Democrats or Republicans in the May 7 primary, which would mean a primary election is not required, according to Ohio Revised Code.
“At this time it appears there won’t be a primary for candidates in Marietta or Belpre, but I will still have to confirm that with the Ohio Secretary of State,” Tara Hupp, director of the Washington County Board of Elections, said following Wednesday’s filing deadline.
But she said there will be a special election May 7 for a proposed 19-mill Caldwell Exempted Village School District replacement tax levy.
The Washington County village of Macksburg is included within the Caldwell school district.
Republican David Locke was among the seven candidates who did not return petitions to the election board by Wednesday’s deadline. He had planned to run for Marietta treasurer as current treasurer Valerie Holley will not seek reelection this year.
Last week Locke, a former city auditor, said he felt the job would be “a good fit” due to his financial background. But by Wednesday he had decided not to pursue the office.
“I believe I can best serve my community elsewhere at this time,” Locke said.
Republican Stanley Lang also did not return a petition for the Marietta treasurer’s post by the deadline, which leaves only two city treasurer candidates – Republican Cathy Harper and Democrat Willa O’Neill.
In addition, Teresa Hayes, a Democrat, did not file by Wednesday’s deadline for the Marietta council president post that will be vacated by Walt Brothers at the end of this year.
But Republican Josh Schlicher, a former Marietta at-large councilman, and Democrat Kevin Paskawych both returned petitions before the deadline.
This is Schlicher’s second bid for council president. He ran against Brothers in 2011.
“I’m currently chairing the Marietta Traffic Commission, and I’ve stayed involved with city business, keeping up with the latest issues,” he said. “And I want to continue working with the council and administration to help make the city better.”
Paskawych is a newcomer to the local political realm, but said he’s ready to run.
“I’ve volunteered to work with civic organizations and for various civic events,” he said. “I guess I’m almost a professional volunteer. But I’ve decided to step across the line and run for office. I’ve thought about this in the past, but always said ‘maybe next year.’ Now I’ve made up my mind to move ahead.”
Former Marietta 3rd Ward councilman Jon Grimm, a Republican, has filed to run for one of the three council at-large seats. Last week Grimm said he was also considering a bid for the 4th Ward council post held by Democrat Tom Vukovic.
“I thought about it for a while,” Grimm said. “And I like the idea of being able to work on city issues without having to deal with a particular ward. I just think there are not so many boundaries when you serve as an at-large councilman.”
Other Marietta council at-large candidates are Republican Michael Boersma and Democrats Kathleen Downer and incumbent Harley Noland.
At-large Councilman Michael Mullen, an Independent, has indicated he’ll run for reelection, but, like all Independent candidates, he has until May 6 to file for the office.
At-large Democrat Councilman Denver Abicht is not seeking another term.
Vukovic is now the only candidate filing for the 4th Ward slot, and incumbent Democrat Steve Thomas has filed to recapture his seat as 3rd Ward councilman.
James Wilson Jr., a Republican, will challenge Democrat incumbent Mike McCauley for the Marietta 2nd Ward council seat, and incumbent Roger Kalter, also a Democrat, is the only candidate filing for the 1st Ward post.
In Belpre, Republican Callie Lyons did not return her petition to run for a council at-large seat, leaving incumbents Susan Abdella, a Republican, and Democrat John Newberry the only at-large council candidates at this time.
Steven Roddy II, an Independent, has not yet returned his petition for Belpre council at-large, but has until May 6 to file for the post.
Incumbent Belpre council president Will Neff, a Republican, is the only candidate that has filed to reclaim that position.
Belpre 1st Ward incumbent Larry Martin, a Republican, 2nd Ward incumbent Deborah Marshall, a Democrat, and 4th Ward incumbent Dewey Robinson, also a Democrat, are all unchallenged as they seek to reclaim their council seats.
Republican Kylie Martin is the only candidate who has filed to fill the Belpre city treasurer position that will be vacated by current treasurer Bill McAfee at the end of the year. And incumbent Republican city auditor Leslie Pittenger is the lone candidate for that post.
Hupp said the candidate filings will have to be verified and then certified to the ballot by the board of elections on Tuesday.