Whitehall News

Petition problems in Wards 3, 4

Whitehall won't have a primary election


Whitehall will not have a primary election May 7 as one of the candidates in the Ward 3 primary failed to file a valid petition with the Franklin County Board of Elections.

A primary in Ward 3 was expected as three candidates had filed to succeed incumbent Ward 3 Councilman Leo Knoblauch, who is ineligible to seek re-election because of term limits. Knoblauch is concluding his second four-year council term this year.

Three candidates had filed petitions for Ward 3: Jerry Brooks, Larry R. Morrison, and David B. Nixon.

The Franklin County Board of Elections rejected Brooks' petition for failure to meet the standard of a required circulator statement.

The candidate, or a person circulating a petition on behalf of a candidate, must sign the petition in a proscribed manner to indicate the circulator has witnessed the placement of all signatures. This was not properly executed on Brooks' petition, said Ben Piscitelli, spokesman for the Franklin County Board of Elections.

Because such action is a "fatal flaw," the board did not consider the validity of the signatures. Brooks' petition had 18 signatures, three in excess of the minimum required, but none was valid because of the "fatal flaw."

Books' failure to qualify for the ballot leaves only two candidates for Ward 3 council representative and thus no need for the city's nonpartisan primary.

Morrison and Nixon, both of Ross Road, will advance to the nonpartisan general election in November to vie for the Ward 3 seat.

Wards 1, 2 and 4 will be uncontested in November.

A Ward 4 race in the general election was in the offering, but the Board of Elections also rejected the petition of Pamela Kay Sugar, a Fairway Boulevard resident, for not having the required number of valid signatures.

Sugar submitted 18 signatures, but four were not valid, leaving Sugar with 14 valid signatures, one short of the required minimum number, Piscitelli said.

Incumbent Ward 4 Councilman Van Gregg, who was elected to his first term in 2009, will run unopposed in the general election.

No opponents filed petitions to challenge incumbent Ward 1 Councilman Chris Rodriguez or Ward 2 Councilman Wes Kantor.