Independents have until Monday to file

MARIETTA – The November general election ballot is taking shape in Washington County.

No races are contested in the primary election on May 7 in Marietta and Belpre, although voters in Aurelius Township will still weigh in on a Caldwell Exempted Village Schools levy.

Monday the day before primary election day is the last day for independent candidates seeking positions in Marietta or Belpre to file to run.

So far, incumbent Marietta Councilman Michael Mullen, independent at-large, and Belpre resident Callie Lyons have obtained petitions, Mullen for his current seat, Lyons for an at-large seat on Belpre City Council.

Mullen, who served two terms on council and eight years as mayor before winning a seat on council in 2011, would be the fifth at-large candidate. Also running are fellow incumbent Harley Noland and political newcomer Kathleen Downer, both Democrats, and Jon Grimm, a former 3rd Ward councilman, and Michael Boersma on the Republican ticket.

Councilmen Roger Kalter, Steve Thomas and Tom Vukovic, all Democrats, are so far unopposed for re-election in the 1st, 3rd and 4th wards, respectively. Incumbent Councilman Mike McCauley, D-2nd, will be challenged in the fall by Republican James Wilson.

Running for council president are former council member Josh Schlicher, a Republican, and Democrat Kevin Paskawych. Candidates for treasurer are Republican Cathy Harper, a former councilwoman, and Democrat Willa O’Neill.

In Belpre, incumbent Councilmen Larry Martin, R-1st Ward, Deborah Marshall, D-2nd Ward, Dewey Robinson, D-4th Ward, Susan Abdella, R-at large, and John Newberry, D-at large, are running for re-election. Council President Will Neff, a Republican, also is running for re-election.

Councilman Eric Sinnett, D-3rd Ward, is not running. No one has filed in the ward. Independent at-large Councilman Robert Wallace has not filed and could not be reached for comment.

If Lyons, who considered a run for an at-large seat as a Republican, files, she would be unopposed for the third seat unless another independent or a write-in candidate ran.

Belpre Auditor Leslie Pittenger, a Republican, is unopposed for re-election, and the only candidate to file for treasurer is Republican Kylie Martin, who would replace Treasurer Bill McAfee.

A number of nonpartisan seats are on the Nov. 5 ballot, including three seats each on the Belpre City, Fort Frye and Frontier Local, Marietta City and Warren Local boards of education and two on the boards for Wolf Creek Local and the Ohio Valley Educational Service Center. Four seats each will be on the ballot for the Beverly, Lowell, Lower Salem, Macksburg and New Matamoras village councils, plus one seat on each village’s board of public affairs. Two seats on each township board of trustees are also up for votes.

Candidates have already obtained petitions for the offices and a handful have returned them. The deadline to file for nonpartisan races is 4 p.m. Aug. 7.

Write-ins for city, township or school district offices must file declarations of intent by 4 p.m. Aug. 26.