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Hearing set to reconsider election certification for council candidates


Trish Bennett, Editor

CIRCLEVILLE – A hearing has been scheduled next week to reconsider certification for three candidates seeking seats on the Circleville City Council.

The hearing will be held at 9 a.m. Feb. 23 at the office of the Pickaway County Board of Elections, according to Michele Lockard, director.

The hearing was requested by candidates Jeff Hallinin, Josh Ford and Nathan Burge, each of whom had been declined certification by the Board of Elections at its meeting held Feb. 8. The hearing was scheduled at a special meeting of the Board of Elections held Friday at the board office.

The petitions for all three men were declined due to issues with the paperwork filed, Lockard said. Each candidate listed only “City Council” as the office being sought, which was not considered specific enough by the board due to various positions on council between wards and at-large seats.

Ford currently holds the position representing Circleville’s third ward, the same position for which he intended to run in November.

Hallinin was just sworn in Feb. 7 to replace Dorcas Morrow, who retired from her at-large position at the end of 2016. Hallinin’s petition, however, was intended for a run for the first-ward council seat currently held by Julie Strawser.

Strawser, an Independent, has not yet filed her petition but has until the day before the May primary to file to retain her seat.

Burge, a potential newcomer to city council, intended to file for the fourth-ward seat.

Current council members Tammy Bowers (at-large) and Sister Monica Justinger (fourth ward) also failed to be certified at the Feb. 8 meeting, but neither of them have yet requested a reconsideration from the board.

Bowers’ petition was found to have less than the required number of signatures to obtain certification. Justinger’s petition failed to include signed circulator statements.

They each have until 60 days prior to the May 2 primary to request a reconsideration hearing if they so desire.

If the reconsideration hearing does not reverse the current decision, each candidate could still file as write-in candidates for their desired council seats. The deadline to register as a write-in is Aug. 28 for the Nov. 7 general election.

This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal