Whitehall News

Whitehall council races

Ward 2 has only prospective challenge thus far

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

At least one of Whitehall's four council wards could be contested in November if a valid petition is filed with the Franklin County Board of Elections by Feb. 6.

According to the elections board, a petition for Ward 2 was taken out by Robert M. Smith, of Pinewood Drive.

If Smith files a valid petition, he would challenge incumbent councilman Wes Kantor in the general election.

If a third candidate files for Ward 2, a May runoff would send the top two vote-getters to the general election in November. 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.

Incumbent Ward 1 councilman Chris Rodriguez and incumbent Ward 4 councilman Van Gregg are seeking re-election, and Larry R. Morrison, of Ross Road, has obtained a petition for Ward 3.

Incumbent Ward 3 councilman Leo Knoblauch can't seek re-election because of term limits.

None of the five who have petitions had filed as of Jan. 28, and no others had pulled petitions.

Because Whitehall is one of the 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 the only central Ohio city with a nonpartisan primary. 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 at least 50 signatures, and candidates in Columbus require 1,000.

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 in 2009. Rodriguez has served as both a ward representative and an at-large councilman since first being elected in 2001.

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