ON THE SIDE. . .
This and that from the world of Valley politics.
'DEMOTED' HOW? There is more political fallout from the Charles A. Wilson Jr. petition saga. John Payne, the director of the Columbiana County Board of Elections for the past 12 years, was "demoted" to deputy director. Demoted is in quotes because the pay for the director and deputy director is the same.
Elections board members are taking the high road in public about the switch. But Payne's incorrect advise to Wilson's congressional campaign is largely why the board made the move. When Payne learned that Wilson's campaign had made major errors with the candidate's nominating petitions, he advised them to withdraw the documents and refile a second set of petitions. That move violated state election law passed by the Ohio Legislature in 2002.
Payne said he gets so many directives from the Ohio Secretary of State's Office that he can't keep them all straight. Election officials in other counties expressed surprise that Payne didn't know one of the state's most basic election rules.
Adding to the election board's embarrassment is Payne expressing interest in replacing Wilson in the state Senate should Wilson win the congressional race.