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Hopefuls file for primary

Nine candidates have filed petitions for office in the 2000 primary election.

Thursday, December 16, 1999

Nine candidates have filed petitions for office in the 2000 primary election.

"That’s about average," said Ella Lawless, deputy director of the Lawrence County Board of Elections.

"Sometimes, there’s not a lot of competition in the primary elections," Ms. Lawless said.

Political races on the March primary ballots include those for countywide and state legislative offices. Candidates have until Jan. 7 to file election petitions, Ms. Lawless said.

But, local governments and agencies that want to file to put a levy on the primary ballot face a shorter deadline.

Only a week remains to file levy petitions by the Dec. 23 deadline.

The election board has been trying to get the word out about the shorter petition deadline, required because petitions must be verified, Ms. Lawless said.

However, other than a Lawrence Township levy and the expected South Point school bond levy, there are likely not to be many more on the ballot, she said.

Lawrence Township is seeking renewal of a five-year, 1-mill fire department levy.

South Point Local Board of Education is preparing papers for a 4.84-mill bond levy, but has not officially filed it yet, Ms. Lawless said.

That levy failed by about 300 votes in this year’s General Election. School board members voted afterward to sponsor the levy again in the primary.

If approved, area property owners will pay an additional 4.84 mills on their taxes to provide about $7.1 million in local funding to match about $23.4 million in state building assistance money, school officials said.

Levies must be sponsored by a government agency, or a group can circulate a petition seeking signatures.

If a petition is circulated, it must be signed by 10 percent of the county voters who voted in the last governor’s race, or in Lawrence County’s case, about 1,764, to make the petition valid, Ms. Lawless said.

Although primaries usually are held in May, next year’s is in March because of the presidential election, which changes deadlines under Ohio law.

When the nation elects a president, primaries are held in March, whereas during the next governor’s race in 2002, the primary will be in May, for example, election board officials said.

Local candidates filed as of Wednesday afternoon, with an "I" denoting incumbent, include:

– Jason Stephens, Republican, Lawrence County commissioner.

– Dale Burcham (I), Democrat, clerk of courts.

– Sue Ann Deeds (I), Republican, county recorder.

– Kenneth C. Howell (I), Republican, county treasurer.

– David Lynd (I), Republican, county engineer.

– A. Burton Payne (I), Republican, county coroner.

– George R. Patterson (I), Democrat, Lawrence County commissioner.

– Tim Sexton, Republican, sheriff.

– W. Richard Walton (I), Republican, common pleas court judge.

The county prosecutor’s seat will also appear on the March ballot. Incumbent J.B. Collier Jr. has not filed a petition, nor have other hopefuls.

Democrat U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland’s seat as the 6th District’s representative in Congress is open. And, state Rep. Bill Ogg, D-Sciotoville, state Rep. John Carey, R-Wellston, and state Sen. Mike Shoemaker, D-Bourneville, must run again this year.

Those legislative incumbents have announced intentions to file for re-election to office, but must file in their home county.