Candidates beat filing deadline

Candidates for county offices had until 4 p.m. Friday to make it on the ballot for the March 4 primary, with petitions being filed for offices including county commissioners, sheriff’s office and prosecuting attorney.

No candidacy is official until the petitions are certified by the county board of elections.

In Belmont County, Mead Township Trustee Matt Coffland, will try to unseat Commissioner Mark A. Thomas in the Democratic primary election. That is for the commissioner’s seat for the term beginning Jan. 2, 2009. No Republicans filed for the seat.

For the board of commissioners term beginning Jan. 3, 2009, four Democrats filed for the primary, including incumbent Commissioner Gordie W. Longshaw and former Commissioner Ryan Olexo. Also running for the party’s nomination are St. Clairsville Councilwoman Ginny Favade and Leslie Alderman. One Republican will be on the ballot for that commissioner’s seat, St. Clairsville board of education president, Michael D. Derosa, who is unopposed in the primary.

There is also a race brewing for Belmont County Sheriff’s Office. For the Democrats, Sheriff Fred Thompson is running for a second term, but is facing opposition from David M. Lucas, John Morelli and Donald A. Nippert. No Republican candidate filed for this office.

Prosecuting attorney Chris Berhalter is unopposed on the Republican slate, while former Prosecutor Edward Sustersic has filed to run as a Democrat.

Other unopposed county candidates in the primary are Democrat incumbents, Treasurer Joseph A. Gaudio, Recorder Mary Catherine Nixon, Engineer Frederick F. Bennett and Clerk of Courts Randy Marple. No Republicans filed for the primary for these seats. Belmont County Common Pleas Court Judge John Solovan II and Judge Jennifer Sargus are both unopposed on the Democratic ballot. No Republicans filed for the common pleas court posts.

Corner Troy W. Balgo is unopposed in seeking the Republican nomination in his bid for re-election, while Common Pleas Judge Probate Division Judge John Mark Costine will be unopposed on the ballot. No Democrats filed for either of these posts.

In Monroe County, six Democrats have filed petitions for two commissioners’ seats. Filing to run for the board of commissioner’s seat term beginning Jan. 3, 2009 are Commissioner Francis Block, Jon L. Gramlich, John Christman and Carl Davis. For the term beginning Jan. 2, 2009 were Democrats Billy Thompson, and Tim Price, while Paul D. Ferguson turned in his petition to run in the Republican primary for the seat. Others who took out petitions for the commissioners seats were Mike Cisler and L. William Bolon.

Those taking out petitions for other offices in Monroe County were Democrat Judy Gramlich and Republican Tracy Craig for treasurer. All others seeking county wide offices in the primary are Democrats. They are Walter Starr for probate judge; Chuck Black for sheriff; Lonnie Tustin for engineer; Beth Ann Rose for clerk of courts, Martha Louise Reid for recorder and Lynn Riethmiller for prosecuting attorney.

Boards of election have until Jan. 11 to validate partisan candidates’ petitions. Voter registration deadline for the March 4 primary is Feb. 4.

Independent candidates have until March 3 at 4 p.m. to file petitions to be on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.

Schuler can be reached at