Andy Teater said he would draw a line between his campaign for Hilliard City Council and his job as president of the Hilliard school board after garnering the most votes in a five-candidate Republican primary May 2.

Teater has served 12 years on the school board. His term expires Dec. 31.

"When I'm doing school business, it's strictly school business," he said.

Hilliard is one of a few municipalities in Franklin County to have partisan council seats and conduct a primary. Four seats are up for election in November, but a primary was necessary only for the Republicans after Teater and all four incumbents filed to run.

He said he did not think his campaign would differ much from that of his primary-election effort and that he would remain cognizant not to blend his council campaign with his responsibilities of being a board member.

"This is the busiest time of the year right now so I am focused on the district until the end of the school year," Teater said.

Graduations at Hilliard's three high schools are May 24, 25 and 26.

But it appears that Teater nevertheless will have a great deal of latitude, according to Phil Richter, executive director of the Ohio Elections Commission.

Strict rules govern the solicitation of financial contributions but the mere act of campaigning is not as clearly defined, Richter said.

"Unless (a board member) is wearing a 'vote-for-me' pin and asking for votes from (the board's) dais," he said, a board member generally is permitted to campaign as any other elected official seeking another elected office or re-election to the same office.

"It's a question of the proper use of public time. A board member votes at a meeting and the next day goes to their job and the rest of their life," Richter said.

A school principal, Richter said, might have more concern because his or her representation of the school district is a daily job.

"It's a tough question. Nothing in election law is on-point. To say a board member is politicking (on public time) could be a challenge," he said.

Teater, 55, was the top vote-getter in the May 2 Republican primary for Hilliard City Council.

According to unofficial results from the Franklin County Board of Elections, Teater had 1,152 votes (25.81 percent of votes cast), followed by Tom Baker with 1,094 (24.51 percent), Les Carrier with 1,038 (23.26 percent), Kelly McGivern with 628 votes (14.07 percent) and the fourth incumbent, Bill Uttley, with 551 (12.35 percent).

Voter turnout in all of Franklin County was 58,101, or 6.84 percent of the number of registered voters, and included 7,159 absentee ballots, according the board of elections.

Baker, Carrier, McGivern and Teater advance to the Nov. 7 general election to face two Democratic challengers, Chad Queen and Sarah Schregardus. Because only two Democrats filed, no primary was necessary for them.

It is possible another candidate could join the field.

William "Joel" Scipio Jr. met the May 2 filing deadline for independent candidates for Hilliard City Council, according to the Board of Elections.

His petition first must be certified and will be considered no later than May 23, said Aaron Sellers, a spokesman for the Franklin County Board of Elections.

Scipio is a 2005 graduate of Hilliard Darby High School and in 2015 moved from Indianapolis back to Hilliard with his wife -- a 2005 Davidson graduate and Hilliard educator -- and their children.

"I want to be more involved in the community ... and I think my age group is underrepresented," said Scipio, 30.

In the primary election, Baker, Carrier and Teater campaigned together as a team.

"It was about our message of collaboration (to work with the school district and Norwich Township)," said Baker, 60.

Carrier and Teater were prominent members of Keep Hilliard Beautiful, an organization that placed the Issue 9 charter-change amendment on the ballot in March 2016.

Voters approved the charter amendment to prohibit City Council from rezoning by emergency and from applying tax-increment-financing agreements to residential developments or those with residential components.

Many township and school-district leaders publicly supported the campaign.

"The people wanted a change and we will deliver it," said Carrier, 47. "When the council vice president (McGivern) is beat almost 2-to-1, it's time for a change."

Among those changes, Carrier said, will be an initiative by Keep Hilliard Beautiful to seek a charter-change amendment from the current strong-mayor form of government to a city-manager system.

McGivern, 50, said she is looking toward the general election.

"I want to thank voters for electing me to move forward to the general election," she said."

Uttley's tenure on City Council will end Dec. 31.

Uttley, 61, has served 18 nonconsecutive years as a city councilman since he was first elected in 1993.

"I have always tried to do the best for the city and my hometown, but sometimes negativity can be difficult to combat," he said.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

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