Reynoldsburg News

May primary races are possible for three at-large city council seats

Final lineup depends on certification of nominating petitions by elections board

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Three Republican challengers have filed petitions to run against three Republican city council incumbents in the May 7 primary election in Reynoldsburg.

Incumbents Chris Long and Barth Cotner both filed to run for re-election for their at-large city council seats and Councilwoman Monica DeBrock filed to run in the election to keep her seat.

DeBrock was appointed in December 2012 to serve out Nathan Burd's remaining term as an at-large member. She was sworn in on Jan. 7.

Long was elected to council in November 2009 and Cotner was appointed to council in February 2009, then ran successfully for a four-year-term in November 2009.

Candidates hoping to run against the at-large incumbents in the primary are Republicans Daniel J. Skinner, William Schuck and Marshall Spalding.

All three applied for Burd's seat in December 2012, but council members chose DeBrock to finish out Burd's term.

Franklin County Board of Elections Public Information Officer Ben Piscitelli said Reynoldsburg will not have a Democratic primary election because only one Democrat, former council member Preston Stearns, filed to run for an at-large seat by the Feb. 6 deadline.

Stearns will run in the general election in November against the winners of the May 7 primary election.

Resident Eliot Bowman also took out petitions for an at-large council position, but did not file his petitions by Feb. 6, Piscitelli said.

City Auditor Richard Harris, a Republican, filed to run for re-election but his name will not appear on the primary ballot because the one candidate who took out petitions for the city auditor position, Republican Robert Smith, did not file his petitions by the deadline, Piscitelli said.

"Reynoldsburg requires a primary if the number of candidates for each party is greater than the number of seats to be filled in the general election," he said. "There won't be a primary for city auditor because only one candidate, a Republican, has filed.

"There won't be a Democratic primary for council because only one Democrat filed for that race," he said.

Piscitelli said if the petitions for more than three of the at-large candidates are certified once they are reviewed, then a Republican primary will definitely be held on May 7.

"Major party candidates need a minimum of 50 valid signatures for certification under the Reynoldsburg charter," he said.

He said elections board officials expect to have a list of certified candidates by Feb. 18.

Piscitelli said the top three Republican finishers in the primary and the lone Democrat -- Stearns, if he is certified as a candidate -- will advance to the general election in November.

"They will run for three at-large seats," he said. "The top three finishers will be elected, regardless of party. It could be three Republicans or two Republicans and a Democrat."

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