Local seats up for grabs in Election 2017

By Jason Hawk - jhawk@civitasmedia.com

With America’s presidential decision made, the starting gun is already firing on Election 2017.

Odd-numbered years mean local races, and there are plenty of Lorain County city, village, township, and school board leadership spots expiring next December — which means we can anticipate a year of campaigning by area incumbents and would-be officials.

Here’s what will be in voters’ hands in the News-Tribune coverage area:

• Seven Oberlin city council at-large seats, two-year terms: The seats are currently occupied by Scott Broadwell, Bryan Burgess, Sharon Pearson, Ronnie Rimbert, Kelley Singleton, Linda Slocum, and Sharon Fairchild Soucy. Last election cycle, 14 names appeared on the Oberlin council ballot, making it one of the most contested races in county history.

• Four Kipton village council seats, four-year terms: Those held now by Karol Cornelius, Judy Wiele, Cindy Wiles, and Adrienne Cornelius.

• Two New Russia Township trustee seats, four-year terms: Held by Patti Brubaker and Jack Hoyt.

• Two Pittsfield Township trustee seats, four-year terms: Held by Mark McConnell and Forrest Mohrman.

• Two Camden Township trustee seats, four-year terms: Held by James Hozalski and Gus Ristas.

• Three Oberlin school board seats, four-year terms: Presently held by Albert Borroni, Rosa Gadsden, and Anne Schaum.

• Three Firelands school board seats, four year terms: Occupied now by Jane Battig, Ben Gibson, and Daniel Pycraft.

None of the above offices are partisan, so candidates won’t officially be identifying as Democrats, Republicans, or members of other parties.

That means they’ll skip the May 2 primaries and move right to the general election on Nov. 7, 2017.

The filing deadline is typically 90 days prior to the general election. However, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office has not yet released a 2017 candidates’ guide putting that deadline in stone.

County elections workers say they’ve been unable to give would-be candidates a specific date in August by which they must file to run. There’s certainly already been interest, though, with many eager to get the necessary signatures required to appear on the ballot.

For more information on running for office, call the Lorain County Board of Elections at 440-326-5900.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

By Jason Hawk