Election board certifies candidates

ST. CLAIRSVILLE Independent candidates wishing to run in partisan elections in Belmont County had to file their nominating petitions no later than May 6.

Monday, during the Belmont County Board of Elections’ meeting, those candidates were certified by the board.

That list included:

In Barnesville: Dale Bunting, Scott O. Gallagher, Brad Hudson, Tony C. Johnson, Tim McKelvey, Tom Michelli and Leslie A. Tickhill for village council;

In Bellaire: Dan Brown and Rickie Parker for mayor; Vondi Cetorelli and Josh Meyer for village council;

In Shadyside: Ronald P. Kaluger Jr. and Edward Lynn Marling for mayor; Greg Patrick Givens, Timothy Johnson and Gary A. Rodgers for village council; and R. Todd Schau, Terry L. Tipton and David M. Stewart Sr. for board of public affairs.

Two names were also removed from the ballot at the candidates’ request. Current Shadyside Councilman Jay Morgan and former councilman Dwayne Pielech, who had originally planned to run again, were officially removed Monday by a vote from the elections board.

Candidates wishing to run in non-partisan races must have their nomination petitions in to the elections board by the Aug. 19 deadline. That is also the deadline for petitions seeking to put local options on the ballot.

Attorney Chris Gagin also spoke briefly with the board about affidavits he submitted to the board members and Director Bill Shubat pertaining to the ongoing quo warranto action in the Ohio Supreme Court involving Belmont County Sheriff Dave Lucas and Dick Flanagan.

Gagin, who represents the sheriff, explained the affidavits were first submitted to Belmont County Prosecutor Chris Berhalter for review.

“The court issued an order on June 26 that there will be 20 days of which to submit whatever evidence we wish the court to consider,” Gagin said. “The day after, I also sent a public records request to Mr. Shubat, asking for various documents involved and I received that in a swift fashion, which I want to publicly thank him for.”

Gagin asked the board to review the affidavits for accuracy and, if agreeable, individually or as a group, sign them.

Board member Robert W. Quirk told Gagin that “The board will be executing the affidavits as they are a factual representation of the actions taken by the board on the subject of the dispute over the sheriff’s race.”

The next meeting of the elections board will take place Monday, Aug. 19 at 3:30 p.m. at the board office in St. Clairsville.

Hughes may be reached at mhughes@timesleaderonline.com