YOUNGSTOWN McKelvey's attorney files protest against candidacy
The independent candidate doesn't think a person has to live in Youngstown to run for the city's mayoral post.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Mayor George M. McKelvey's attorney said he plans to file subpoenas forcing Percy Squire's wife, children and parents to attend an Aug. 14 hearing that will prove his client's opponent does not live in Youngstown.
Edwin Romero, McKelvey's attorney, filed a protest Friday against the legitimacy of Squire's candidacy for Youngstown mayor.
"It is [McKelvey's] belief that Mr. Squire is not a qualified elector of the city of Youngstown," Romero said.
Squire, a Columbus attorney, changed his voter registration earlier this year back to the Kiwatha Road home in Youngstown he owns. His wife, Carol, is a Franklin County juvenile court judge with residency in Columbus since 1997.
Subpoena: Romero said he will subpoena members of Squire's family to ask about the mayoral candidate's residency and will subpoena Squire's income tax records from Youngstown and Columbus to prove he does not live here.
Squire, an independent candidate, is McKelvey's only opposition in the Nov. 6 general election. He freely admits he spends most of his time in Columbus and that would not change if he were elected.
"I question why you have to live in Youngstown to run in Youngstown," Squire said. "There's no rational basis for a person to have to be a resident to be a candidate. It's who can do the best job."
Squire will be questioned at the hearing by Romero, who sold the Kiwatha Road home to Squire in 1995.
"He doesn't even live in Youngstown and he's going to challenge my residency," Squire said of Romero. "Youngstown has been run for years by people who do not live in the city. I'm not going to get hung up on some artificial qualification such as residency for this job."
Protest filed: Andrew J. Douglas Sr. of Youngstown, a Democratic precinct committeeman, has already filed a protest against Squire's candidacy over the residency issue.
A hearing in front of the Mahoning County Board of Elections to hear the complaints is set for Aug. 14. The board voted in June to certify Squire's petitions after its members said they had not received any information challenging the validity of the petitions.
Donald J. McTigue of Columbus, Squire's attorney and one of the state's foremost election law experts, said the matter is cut and dry.
"The issue is whether or not he has a residence in the city of Youngstown and he unquestionably does and has had one for many years," McTigue said. "He has more than one residence, like many Ohioans. Under Ohio law, you are permitted to have multiple residences and you can claim any of them as your residence when running for office."
Also, Squire has deep roots in Youngstown including a law office here and is the owner of businesses in the city, McTigue said.
But when asked how much time Squire spends in Youngstown, McTigue declined to comment, saying it "will all come out in due course."
"If Percy thinks Youngstown is his home, he's attended one too many of those Y'town is My Town parties," said Romero, referring to events held in Columbus that bring together former Youngstown residents living there.