SCIOTO- The first stage in the 2021 political season, where hopeful candidates knock on doors and ask for signatures, came to a conclusion Wednesday afternoon.
Interested candidates for seats in local offices were required to have signatures on their petition and to return their forms to the Scioto County Board of Elections, 90 days before the May 4 primary.
Based on files obtained by the Portsmouth Daily Times from SCBOE, there is considerable interest surrounding the Portsmouth City Council 3rd Ward seat where four candidates filed petitions.
Following Mayor Kevin Johnson’s announcement that he would not be seeking reelection, one Portsmouth West student created his own Facebook page to promote his campaign. That candidate, Gary Jenkins, later spoke with the Times and is joined by Andy Cole, Jessica Pacula, and Jerry Skiver as those seeking the open seat.
The city’s first and fifth wards will also hold elections, where only one candidate in each race filed a petition. Incumbent Sean Dunne will again seek office in the 1st Ward, while Joey Sandlin is running in the 5th Ward.
Not included in the petition-filing candidates is current Councilman Edwin Martell, who originally told the publication that he was planning on running for reelection. Martell did not run in 2017, but was appointed in January 2020.
As it turns out, Martell responded on Thursday by saying he will be running as a write-in candidate.
Write-in candidates have had recent success in getting elected, including former 4th Ward Councilman Andrew McManus in 2019 where he defeated the resigned former Mayor Jim Kalb.
In New Boston, former Ohio Senate candidate Ryan Ottney will again seek a council seat on the Village of New Boston Council. The Democrat received less votes than Johnny Whisman in his 2017 bid, but was able to join due to two open seats.
Vacancies are fairly common in village councils, where the SCBOE website lists three vacancies on the Otway Council and two in South Webster.
Unlike New Boston, Portsmouth races are nonpartisan, but its respective wards show political leanings in both directions. While former President Donald Trump easily won the county in the 2020 Presidential Election, city votes were much tighter.
According to election results from SCBOE, Trump received more than 70% of the county vote but, while still winning these wards, it was much closer in Portsmouth. President Joe Biden lost with 2,714 votes or 42.8% of the city vote, while Trump received 3,588 and 56.6% of the votes cast.
Reach Patrick Keck at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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