Wellington could be alone on ballot
By David Skolnick
The sheriff could run unopposed in the general election as he did in the Democratic primary.
YOUNGSTOWN — Three independent sheriff candidates and one seeking an Ohio House seat are expected to be ruled ineligible to run for office today by the Mahoning County Board of Elections, its director said.
If the three sheriff candidates are disqualified, Sheriff Randall Wellington, a Youngstown Democrat, will run unopposed.
According to elections Director Thomas McCabe, the candidates expected to be disqualified are:
UJames S. Horvath of Boardman, a retired sheriff’s department lieutenant. Horvath doesn’t have enough valid signatures on his nominating petitions.
UJohn Martynyszyn of Youngstown, a former sheriff’s department corporal. He voted in the Democratic primary March 4, the day after he filed to run as an independent candidate. A 2007 opinion from the Ohio secretary of state’s office states if a candidate votes in a party primary election after filing as an independent, that person is no longer considered an independent and is thus disqualified.
UHoward Faison of Youngstown, a retired sheriff’s department captain. Faison retired from the department May 1, 2003. To be eligible to run for sheriff, a person needed state peace officer training within three or four years of their retirement, depending on their job classification. Faison has failed to submit documentation proving he had the training. If he can show it, McCabe said, Faison can remain a candidate.
Two sheriff candidates were ruled ineligible before the March Democratic primary, leaving Wellington as the only one on the ballot. Republicans don’t have a sheriff candidate.
Ex-Youngstown police Detective Sgt. Rick Alli was removed before the primary because he failed to file the proper paperwork seeking the job. David P. Aey, a former sheriff’s deputy, went through a lengthy court battle before the Ohio Supreme Court took him off the ballot. A federal judge refused to reinstate Aey.
Also today, Dennis S. Spisak of Struthers, a candidate for the Ohio House 60th District seat, is expected to be disqualified, McCabe said.
Spisak failed to write the office he was seeking on a number of his petitions, McCabe said. Signatures on those petitions are automatically thrown out under state election law, McCabe said. That leaves Spisak without enough valid signatures to be a candidate, McCabe said.
State Rep. Robert F. Hagan, a Youngstown Democrat, is being challenged by Republican Timothy A. Gordon Jr. of Lowellville in the November general election.
The only two independent candidates who will be certified today are Maggy Lorenzi of Youngstown, who is challenging Commissioner John A. McNally of Youngstown, and Marty Yavorcik of Boardman, who is taking on Prosecutor Paul J. Gains of Boardman, McCabe said.
Gains has questioned Yavorcik’s eligibility asserting that his opponent isn’t really an independent and should be disqualified.
Yavorcik says Gains’ claim is false.
The decision on the matter rests with the elections board.