Commissioner race unlikely in November

By Mac Cordell

February 14, 2014

While it was clear after the filing deadline earlier this month there would be no primary election for Madison County Commission, it did appear there would be a Republican and a Democrat on the ballot in November.

Now, that does not appear to be the case.

Officials from the Madison County Board of Elections confirmed Friday, Feb. 14 that the petition for Democrat Ronald Roach, of London, was not certified. Roach had filed to run against Republican incumbent Dave Dhume, also of London, for commissioner.

“On his petition, he left off the date of the Primary Election,” said Mark Erbaugh, deputy director of the Madison County Board of Elections. “He filed multiple parts…and on none of them did he fill out the date of the election.”

Erbaugh said Roach could file to run as a write in candidate in November, but could not run in May’s primary.

“He is off the ballot in May,” said Erbaugh. “If he runs as a write-in candidate, he will not have a party affiliation with his name or his campaign. The [November] ballot will list the successful candidate and under that, a blank line with an oval. That’s all that will be there. If he runs as a write-in, there will be no indication of his name.”

Erbaugh said three members of the board voted to not certify Roach’s petition. Board chairman Richard Hirst abstained from voting on the petition.

Roach could not be reached for comment. Roach voted as a Republican in 2012. Election officials looked at registration records from 1992 through 2013 for Roach.

“Every time he has voted, he has been issues only or as a Republican,” said Richard Hirst

The board also chose not to certify the petition of Howard S. Foust, of West Jefferson. Foust was running unopposed for the Democratic Central Committee seat in Canaan Township. Erbaugh said central committee candidates do not need to file petitions, though they do need to fill out a form, indicating they intend to follow the guidelines of the part and then specify which party they choose to represent.

“Mr. Foust did not write ‘Democratic’ in there,” said Erbaugh. “They have to fill in the party and he didn’t.”

Madison County residents who want to vote must be registered by April 7. The first day to vote is April 1. Residents may check to verify they are registered by calling the board of elections or going to the board website and clicking the “Am I Registered” link.

While there will not be a commissioner’s race or primary, there will be issues to vote on in the May 6, election.

Republicans Richard Dunkle, from London, and Chris Brown, of West Jefferson, are facing off in the primary race to replace retiring Juvenile/Probate Court Judge Glenn S. Hamilton.

Gladys Griffith and Stephen Saltsman have each filed to fill the London Ward 4 seat on the Republican Central Committee.

Voters in the Jonathan Alder, Jefferson Local, Madison-Plains and Mechanicsburg Exempted Village school districts will also be asked to cast ballots.

Jefferson Local School District is seeking a 1 percent income tax, for five years, to cover current expenses.

Jonathan Alder School District is asking voters to approve a 0.5 percent income tax for seven years to cover current expenses.

Madison-Plains School District is requesting the renewal of an 8-mills property tax as a permanent tax to cover current operating expenses.

Mechanicsburg is also seeking a renewal, it’s the renewal of a 1.96-mills levy, for 10 years, to provide for the emergency requirements of the school district.

The board of elections is still looking for individuals to serve as poll workers, now called precinct election officials. Those wanting to serve are asked to call the board of elections office, (740) 852-9424.

Mac Cordell can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 21 or via Twitter @MacCordell.