If you live in either of wards 1, 3 or 5 of the city of Portsmouth, and have thought you might like to serve on Portsmouth City Council, here is your chance. Those seats are up for the election process in November, and there is only a short window of opportunity available for passing petitions and turning those petitions in.
“The city is different because it goes by Charter,” Scioto County Board of Elections Deputy Director Teresa Knittel said. “The charter states they cannot start passing petitions until 105 days before an election and they have to be filed 90 days prior to an election.”
Knittel said, while petitions can be picked up any time, they cannot be circulated until Jan. 17, 2017 and they have to be filed by Feb. 1, 2017.
“To be on the ballot they have to go through the primary in May (2),” Portsmouth City Solicitor John Haas said. “If there is only two, there’s nothing on the ballot in May. They just go on to the fall (November general election). If it is like the last time when we had three people in the Sixth Ward, then there’s a primary.”
There was confusion following the last Sixth Ward primary because the ballot allowed people in that ward to “vote for not more than two,” which had never been the case before. In that primary, the incumbent, Jeff Kleha was challenged by Shawn Stratton and Tom Lowe. Stratton and Lowe survived the primary and ran against each other in the general election with Lowe coming out on top.
“It will not be – vote for two,” Haas said. “It will be vote for one.”
In the last election, no one took out petitions to be placed on the ballot in the Second Ward. Former Portsmouth City Clerk Jo Ann Aeh announced as a write in candidate and won the seat. Portsmouth Mayor Jim Kalb ran unopposed in the Fourth Ward.
The current seat-holders in the wards that are up for election are Kevin W. Johnson in the First Ward, Kevin E. Johnson in the Third Ward and Gene Meadows in the Fifth Ward.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.