Primary election field for 2023 taking shape in Marion County
Republican Party candidates for mayor of the City of Marion and two Marion City Council seats will face competition in the May 2 primary/special election.
Pending the certification of all candidate petitions by the Marion County Board of Elections, GOP mayoral candidates Bill Collins and Sue McGowan will vie for the party nomination in the primary election to see who will face Democratic Party candidate Glenn D. Coble in the Nov. 7 general election.
Collins is the former chief of the Marion Police Department and now serves as chief deputy of the Marion County Sheriff's Office. McGowan ran for mayor as an independent in 2019 against incumbent Mayor Scott Schertzer, a Democrat, and Republican Kevin Norris.
Coble ran for the 86th District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives in 2018 and ran for Marion Township Trustee in 2013.
The winner in November will succeed Schertzer, who has chosen not to seek a fifth term as mayor. His term expires Dec. 31, 2023.
Republican Councilman Jason Schaber, 3rd Ward, is facing a challenge from fellow ward resident Carie Fuller in the May 2 primary election. The winner will face Democratic Party candidate William Moodie in the general election.
In the 4th Ward city council race, incumbent Joshua Feliciano is being challenged by fellow Republican Twila Laing. Democratic Party candidate Dana Hanif Booker is running without opposition in the primary election. Feliciano defeated Hanif Booker in the 2021 general election to win a second term on city council.
Councilman Ayers Ratliff, a Democrat, is running unopposed in the 2nd Ward primary election race, but will see opposition from Republican Pamela K. Larkin in the Nov. 7 general election. Ratliff and Larkin met in the 2021 general election with Ratliff winning reelection to a seat he's held since 2005.
There will be new faces in the Marion City Council president's chair as well as the 1st Ward, 5th Ward, and 6th Ward seats on council. Council President Todd Schneider, a Democrat, did not file a petition seeking reelection. Republican Mary Stoneburner, a local conservative activist, is the lone candidate to file a petition for city council president. An independent could still file to run for the office since the deadline for unaffiliated candidates to file petitions is May 1.
Councilman Jeff Gerritsen, 1st Ward, did not file a petition. He was appointed to the seat after former Councilman Kai Meade resigned last July. Republican Shawn Barr is the sole candidate to file a petition seeking election to the 1st Ward seat on city council at this point.
Councilwoman Karen Fosnaugh, 5th Ward, did not file a petition seeking reelection. The Republican was appointed to the office in August 2020 following the resignation of Leslie Cunningham. Fosnaugh won the 2021 general election to keep the seat for a full term that ends this year. Democrat Cory Brown and Republican Thaddaeus Smith have filed petitions for the office. Neither is facing opposition in the primary election.
Councilman Mike Neff, a Republican, was not able to run for reelection to the 6th Ward seat on city council after redistricting led to his address being transferred to the 5th Ward. Neff has filed to run for an at-large seat on city council. Democrat Bart Wolfe and Republican Ronald Prater have filed petitions seeking to replace Neff as the 6th Ward council representative.
Neff joins incumbents Brett Cornelius and Aaron Rollins as candidates for the three at-large seats on Marion City Council. Like Neff, Cornelius and Rollins are both Republicans.
At-large Councilman Mike Thomas, a Democrat, did not file a petition seeking reelection to city council. No Democrats filed petitions to run for at-large city council seats.
Marion Municipal Court Judge Teresa L. Ballinger, a Republican, is running without opposition in the primary. No other candidates have filed petitions seeking to run for judge at this point in time.
Law Director Mark Russell, a Democrat, is also running unopposed in the May 2 primary election. No other candidates have filed petitions to run for that office, either.
The Marion County Board of Elections will meet at 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 13 to certify all partisan candidates' petitions and local option petitions. The meeting will be conducted in the Prospect Room located on the lower level of the Marion County Building, 222 W. Center St. in downtown Marion.
Protests against partisan candidate petitions and local option petitions must be filed with the board of elections by 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17.
Write-in candidates for the May 2 primary/special election must file declarations of intent with the board of elections by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Protests against write-in candidates must be filed by 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24.
As mentioned, people seeking to run as independents this year have until May 1 to file petitions with the Marion County Board of Elections.
Email: email@example.com | Twitter: @AndrewACCarter
This article originally appeared on Marion Star: Primary election field for 2023 taking shape in Marion County