Whitehall Mayor Kim Maggard, barring a campaign from a write-in candidate, will be unopposed in seeking her third term in the general election after the Franklin County Board of Elections did not certify the petition of her only potential challenger Feb. 19.

Alexander N. Mitchell failed to submit the required number of valid signatures on his petition for the office of mayor, according to the elections board.

Only 20 of the 44 signatures on Mitchell's petition were valid, said board spokesman Aaron Sellers.

Mitchell was required to have 30 valid signatures.

Mitchell appeared on the ballot in 2017 as a Ward 1 City Council candidate and in 2005 as a Ward 3 City Council candidate but was unsuccessful both times.

He could not be reached for comment about his latest effort.

"I've always had an urge for community service," Mitchell said in 2017.

He said he had worked on campaigns for Michael Coleman, both for Columbus City Council and mayor of Columbus, and those of Richard Cordray, John O'Grady, Hearcel Craig and other candidates for various elected offices.

Maggard's run for a third term was made possible last year by city voters, who allowed a change to the city charter extending term limits from two to three for elected officials.

"I'm very proud of what we have accomplished as a community during the past eight years," Maggard said about her previous two terms as mayor. "In deciding to run for re-election, I considered not only what has been accomplished but also the work yet to be done."

Maggard, 61, was appointed city auditor after serving six years as an elected member of the Whitehall school board. She was elected auditor in 2003 and 2007 and was voted into the mayor's seat in 2011.

Maggard said an unopposed mayoral contest indicates that "the majority of Whitehall's residents are excited about the future of Whitehall."

She said she has a "proven track record in moving Whitehall forward," including investments in the city's parks and recreation, providing senior-citizen housing, reducing crime rates and planning multiuse, walkable communities such as Norton Crossing.

If elected to a third term, Maggard said her goals include continuing to provide high-quality housing opportunities for all residents; keeping up efforts to invest in the safety department's staffing and technology to reduce crime; and continued attention to parks and recreation programming and facilities.

Timothy Wayne Mouzon, another would-be candidate for office, also failed to achieve certification for the general election in 2019.

Mouzon was attempting to vie for one of three at-large City Council seats.

The circulator statement was not completed by the circulator, so none of the signatures Mouzon collected could be validated, according to the board of elections.

Mouzon said he is seeking information from the board to file a petition as a write-in candidate.

The filing deadline for write-in candidates is Aug, 26, according to the board of elections.

If Mouzon is successful in filing as a write-in, he would be pitted against four other candidates whose petitions were certified for the general election in November.

The petitions of incumbent at-large council members Bob Bailey, Karen Conison and Wes Kantor were certified, as was the petition of challenger Gerald Dixon.

It is Dixon's third attempt at local elected office.

Dixon campaigned for an at-large council seat in 2015 and a Ward 1 council seat in 2017.

The office of council president also is contested in November.

The petitions of incumbent Jim Graham and challenger Tom Potter were certified.

Potter, 57, and his wife, Pam, have lived in Whitehall for 34 years.

"There are many exciting things happening in Whitehall and I am looking forward to playing a part in that momentum," Potter said.

"As a city, we are very future-forward and I would feel privileged to contribute to that vision," he said.

Graham, 71, is seeking his third term as council president, and although he filed a petition, he said he still is deciding whether he will seek to fulfill the obligation of a new term.

Two other petitions in uncontested races were certified: those of incumbent City Attorney Mike Bivens and incumbent Treasurer Steve Quincel.

No primary election will be required May 7 in Whitehall. At least three candidates were required to file for each open seat to trigger a primary in the city's nonpartisan election, Sellers said.

Had three or more candidates filed for any one position, the top two vote-getters in a May primary would have proceeded to the November ballot.

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