Hilliard City Council President Albert Iosue resigned Feb. 10, and his former peers are beginning the process to appoint his replacement.
However, Iosue's role in the upcoming primary election is not clear because he has not been available for comment.
Vice President Kelly McGivern announced the resignation after Hilliard City Council reconvened from executive session Feb. 11.
Iosue was not present Feb. 11, according to David Ball, the city's communications director. He also was not available for comment Feb. 12.
Iosue had emailed her his letter of resignation Feb. 10, McGivern said.
She said Iosue first indicated he was considering resigning Feb. 8.
"It was a surprise," McGivern said.
She will assume the mantle of council president, according to council rules. A new vice president is expected to be chosen Feb. 25.
In his letter, Iosue wrote, "The past 11 years as a member of Hilliard City Council have been rewarding and memorable. For personal reasons, I have decided it is in my best interest to resign at this time and spend more time with my family."
Ball said applications for the open seat would be due Feb. 25, and City Council likely would make an appointment prior to a March 18 meeting.
To be considered, applicants must be registered to vote and have been a Hilliard resident for at least one year, Ball said.
Applicants must submit resumes and letters to Hilliard City Council, c/o Lynne Fasone, clerk of council, 3800 Municipal Way, Hilliard, OH 43026. Emails to firstname.lastname@example.org also would be accepted.
Meanwhile, Iosue, a third-term Republican, had filed a petition Feb. 6 with the Franklin County Board of Elections to seek a fourth term on the May 7 ballot.
His term expires Dec. 31, 2019.
Unless Iosue chooses to withdraw formally, and assuming his petition is certified Tuesday, Feb. 19, his name would remain on the Republican primary ballot, said Aaron Sellers, a spokesman for the Franklin County Board of Elections.
"A candidate needs to formally withdraw if he is to be removed from the ballot," he said. "If he does not withdraw and his petition is certified, then he would appear on the ballot."
If Iosue did not withdraw and were to win the nomination, he would appear on the general-election ballot in November, Sellers said.
In addition, if Iosue were to withdraw after being nominated in the Republican primary, then the Republican Party could replace him with another candidate, he said.
Because the Hilliard council primary filing deadline for Republicans and Democrats has passed, whoever is appointed to the seat could run only as an independent or write-in candidate, unless Iosue withdraws, Sellers said.
Three seats held by Iosue and fellow Republicans Pete Marsh and Nathan Painter are up for election.
Four Democrat candidates and four Republican candidates, including Iosue, met the filing deadline.
Only three in each party will advance to the general election.
Painter did not file a petition to run for re-election.
The other three Republicans who filed are Marsh, Bobby Joe Stepp Jr. and Omar Tarazi.
The four Democrats who filed are Christine A. Cottone, Deryck D. Richardson II, Jordan D. Smith and Cynthia Vermillion.
Their petitions still need to be certified, and that is expected to occur Feb. 19, Sellers said.