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Juanita Rich protests challenger's certification

Published: Fri, July 29, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Staff report


Juanita Rich, incumbent city-council president, is protesting the Mahoning County Board of Elections’ certification of her challenger in the November election.

George J. Levendis is challenging Rich for her seat. But in a letter to the elections board dated July 15, attorney John Juhasz formally protested Levendis’ candidacy on Rich’s behalf.

The elections board has set a formal hearing during a meeting that will begin at 6 p.m. Monday. Levendis could not be reached to comment.

In the letter to the board, Juhasz indicates two reasons why Levendis’ candidacy should be invalid.

He says that according to the city’s home-rule charter, Levendis’ petition lists the office sought as “president of council,” not the proper title of “council president.”

“While this may appear at first blush to be a distinction without a difference that would not mislead a voter or misrepresent the office sought, there is in fact an important distinction,” Juhasz’ letter reads.

The letter states that the position “president of council” was abolished in 1971, and the person in that position could only vote to break a tie.

The “council president,” it goes on, votes regularly on legislation.

The second reason, the letter says, is that Levendis’ petition fails to specify a date or a term for which he is seeking office.

Juhasz says the Ohio Revised Code requires the candidate list the term ending on a certain date. Levendis’ petition does neither, simply indicating “full term,” the letter says.

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