August 23, 2014

Elyria
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Eight candidates fail to make ballots

LORAIN — Eight candidates who were running for various offices in the November election are candidates no more, according to Lorain County Board of Elections officials.

The eight were kept off the November ballot for various reasons, such as failing to collect enough valid signatures on their petitions or not meeting the time of residency required to make it on the ballot, said Jose Candelario, Board of Elections director. 

One of those candidates, however — Frank Vacha, who was running for a North Ridgeville school board seat — has stumbled into the same situation as Elyria school board member Holly Brinda.

Because they ran and lost in the May primaries — Brinda for Elyria mayor, Vacha for North Ridgeville City Council — neither is eligible to run in the November general election, according to the Ohio secretary of state.

The “sore loser” law says no person can run for more than one elected position in the same election cycle. 

Brinda said Thursday that she’ll decide within the next week whether to appeal the law in court, since the Lorain County prosecutor and the county Board of Elections won’t review the law on her behalf.

Earlier, she had tried to file her petitions to run for re-election on the school board, but the elections board would not accept them because of the law.

“The only thing that’s clear is that it’s unclear at this point,” Brinda said. “Whether through my efforts or someone else’s, this will be sorted out.”

Vacha found out Thursday he was removed from the ballot for the same reason as Brinda, though added that he hasn’t decided if he’ll challenge the law.

Candelario said the other seven candidates removed from the ballot on Thursday were:

  • Vermilion City Council candidate Chris Habermehl, who was running for the 3rd Ward but failed to specify the ward in which he was running for when he turned in his paperwork.
  • Grafton mayoral candidate Rodney Campbell, who hasn’t lived in the village for the required year. 
  • Grafton Council 3rd-Ward candidate John Lescher, who did not obtain enough valid petition signatures.
  • Grafton Council 4th-Ward candidate Mark Sefcovic, who hasn’t lived in the village for the required year.
  • Clearview school board candidates Calvondo Smith and Timothy Kasperovich, neither of whom obtained enough valid petition signatures.
  • Lorain school board candidate Rhoda Lee, who did not obtain enough valid petition signatures. 

Contact Shawn Foucher at 653-6255 or sfoucher@chroniclet.com.