Only registered Republican voters appear to have a choice in the primary election for Hilliard City Council on the May 7 ballot.

Four Democrats and four Republicans had met the Franklin County Board of Elections filing deadline for candidacy Feb. 6. Three council seats are up for election.

But the petition to run for election submitted by Democrat candidate Jordan D. Smith was not certified by the Franklin County Board of Elections on Feb. 19, leaving three Democrats running for the three seats.

The three certified Democrat candidates – Tina Cottone, Deryck Richardson and Cynthia Vermillion – will advance to the general-election ballot in November, making the primary no longer necessary.

According to the board of elections, Smith's petition contained only 48 valid signatures among the 74 submitted. Hilliard council candidates required 50 valid signatures.

Smith said he would not appeal the board's ruling but instead would focus on supporting the team of Democrat candidates.

"I’m pleased to be taking on another role," he said, by campaigning, organizing candidates nights, publicizing policy and other activities.

The petitions of all four Republican candidates – Albert Iosue, Pete Marsh, Bob Stepp and Omar Tarazi – were certified.

Three of those four Republicans will advance to the general election and face the trio of certified Democrats.

Marsh was appointed to City Council in January 2018 and has to run for election to his seat.

Iosue, the former City Council president, resigned from council Feb. 10 in the final year of his third term but said he is campaigning for a return to council in 2020. His seat currently is vacant.

Nathan Painter holds the third seat up for election. He did not file to run for re-election.