MAHONING COUNTY Elections board mulls reinstating hopeful

The elections board will hear the candidate's appeal today.
CAMPBELL -- Mahoning County Board of Elections today will consider reinstating a Campbell city council candidate thrown off the Nov. 6 ballot because he failed to date his statement of candidacy form.
Steve Sferra of Goretti Drive, who wants to run for 1st Ward councilman, said he has been trying for nearly two months without any success to be reinstated as a candidate, including sending one protest by certified mail and hand-delivering another. The elections board removed Sferra as a candidate July 23 because of the lack of date.
Sferra thought all was lost until he read an article Monday in The Vindicator about the elections board's decision to reinstated three candidates initially removed because of problems with the dates on their statements of candidacy. Among those three is Marilyn J. Bartholomew, a Craig Beach village council candidate, who, like Sferra, did not date her statement of candidacy.
"I filed a protest and asked for a hearing, and they never returned my calls," Sferra said. "For some reason, they look like they're ignoring me. After I saw what they did with the woman from Craig Beach, I got mad."
Assumptions: Michael V. Sciortino, elections board director, said after Sferra filed as a write-in for the council seat subsequent to his removal as a candidate, the board thought the Campbell man no longer opposed the board's decision.
"We'll hear his case," Sciortino said. "If he gives a compelling argument, we'll handle it as we did with the other cases."
The board will meet at 3 p.m. today to consider Sferra's appeal.
Consequences: Failing to date a statement of candidacy has been grounds for automatic disqualification in the past. But because of some recent court cases, the board decided Monday that candidates kicked off the ballot because their statements of candidacy had no date or an incorrect date would be reinstated if they can show their nominating petitions were otherwise in "substantial compliance" with the law.
Sferra is challenging Councilman Jerry Rudiak, who has no other opposition.

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