Whitehall News

Prospective council ward candidates begin primary process


At least one new member will join Whitehall City Council in 2014 as Leo Knoblauch is precluded from seeking re-election to Ward 3 because of term limits.

All four ward representatives of Whitehall City Council are up for re-election this year. The three at-large council representatives, as well as president of council, are in the middle of four-year terms.

Because Whitehall is one of few central Ohio municipalities to conduct a primary election, candidates must file a petition by 4 p.m. Feb. 6 with the Franklin County Board of Elections.

Reynoldsburg, Hilliard and Columbus also have primary elections, but Whitehall is unusual in that its primary race is nonpartisan.

Whitehall also differs in that candidates need only obtain the signature of 15 registered Whitehall voters to qualify for the ballot. Candidates in Reynoldsburg and Hilliard must obtain a minimum of 50 signatures, and candidates in Columbus require 1,000.

Whitehall's primary election is May 7. Three or more candidates must file for any one of the four ward seats for a primary election to be held; otherwise those candidates vie for each ward seat in the general election in November.

As of Jan. 14, each eligible incumbent had declared intent to seek re-election.

Ward 1 council member Chris Rodriguez, Ward 2 member Wes Kantor and Ward 4 councilman Van Gregg all confirmed Jan. 11 that they are seeking re-election.

Gregg was elected to council in 2009 and is completing his first council term. Rodriguez and Kantor also were elected in 2009, but Kantor had been appointed to council prior to his election. Rodriguez has served as both a ward representative and an at-large councilman since he first was elected in 2001.

"It's been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Whitehall, and I want to continue that service," said Rodriguez, who left an at-large council seat midterm for a Ward 1 council seat.

As for Knoblauch's seat, only newcomer Larry R Morrison, of 598 Ross Road, has taken a petition packet for Ward 3 thus far.