Hilliard City Council will have at least two new members in 2022

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group

A May 4 primary election will not be necessary to determine who will run for Hilliard City Council in November, but at least two new members will serve on the seven-seat body.

Four seats, each held by a Republican, are up for grabs on the Nov. 2 general-election ballot, but two incumbents, Tom Baker and Kelly McGivern, are not seeking re-election.

Four Democrats and three Republicans met the filing deadline of 4 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Franklin County Board of Elections.

Hilliard's party-affiliated primary elections for council are a rarity in central Ohio, and a primary is necessary only when the board of elections certifies the petitions of more than two Republican or Democrat candidates for each City Council seat up for election. Otherwise, candidates advance to the general election without the requirement for a primary.

Because four or fewer candidates filed for each party, equal to the number of open seats, no primary election is necessary, said Jeff Mackey, manager of petitions and campaign finance for the Franklin County Board of Elections.

All the candidates whose petitions are certified automatically will advance to the general election, he said.

Hilliard City Hall is at 3800 Municipal Way.

The board of elections will convene at 3 p.m. Feb. 16 and announce later that day if petitions are certified and if any are found not to be valid, Mackey said.

According to the Franklin County Board of Elections, the Democrats  who filed petitions are Tina Cottone, Ruth Miller, Sarah Schregardus and Jordan D. Smith.

Schregardus ran for council in 2017, and Cottone ran in 2019. Smith previously filed petitions to run for council in 2015 and in 2019, but both times, his petitions were not certified.

Miller is seeking her first elected office.

Cynthia Vermillion, a Democrat, was elected in 2019, the first Democrat elected to Hilliard City Council since 1989.

The Republicans are incumbents Les Carrier and Andy Teater, and challenger Peggy Hale.

Teater is completing his first four-year term after serving 12 years on the Hilliard City Schools board.

Carrier was elected to council in 2013 and is completing his second term.

ThisWeek could not reach Hale to find out more about her background.

Meanwhile, Baker is in the final year of his second full term after being appointed to council and said it was "a good time" to give way to a new member.

“I feel like nine years is long enough for a representative to serve," Baker said. "Since we have accomplished the transition to a city-manager form of government, now is a good time for another community member to step up."

McGivern was appointed to council in 2008 and first was elected in 2009.

“It has been an honor to serve the residents of Hilliard for the last 14 years, (but) it is time for new ideas and new individuals to step up and serve,” McGivern said. “I look forward to the leaders of tomorrow to make tough decisions and continue to move our community forward."

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo