September 23, 2014

Elyria
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Noble plans run for Elyria mayor


Republican must run as write-in

ELYRIA — Republicans will have a mayoral candidate in November, but you won’t see his name on the ballot.

CHRONICLE FILE
Ray Noble says he will join the Elyria mayoral race as a write-in candidate.

Ray Noble, vice chairman of the city’s Republican Party, said Thursday that he has registered to run against Mayor Bill Grace, a Democrat, as a write-in candidate. The race also includes independent Tim Quinn.

Noble, who has run and lost for a Council seat in the past, said he believes he has a good chance at winning, despite being a Republican in a heavily Democratic town and a write-in candidate to boot.

“I firmly believe that I can win,” he said.

Noble said he decided to get into the race because of Grace’s decision to eliminate overtime for firefighters, a move that has prompted firefighters to picket at fire stations and at City Hall this week. That means the city will close the Broad Street station whenever staffing levels drop on a given day.

“I think it’s ludicrous that he would shut down a firehouse,” Noble said.

Firefighters want the city to hire more firefighters and restore overtime, something Noble said would be possible if the city were to eliminate two of its three assistant safety service directors.

“Those jobs are just political payback jobs, and the taxpayers are paying for it,” he said.

Noble also criticized Grace for supporting the city’s design review standards, which require businesses that want to move to the city or expand operations to comply with certain regulations in order to build or renovate.

Those requirements are driving business out of the city to other communities that are more willing to work with them, Noble said.

“People are not coming here because it’s too stringent,” he said.

Grace did not return a call seeking comment, but Quinn said Noble doesn’t have a chance at winning.

“There’s not enough Republicans in this town to make a difference,” he said.

Still, Quinn, said, Noble could siphon votes from Republicans who might otherwise have cast their ballots for him.

“There’s always impact,” he said. “Dyed-in-the-wool Republicans are no different than dyed-in-the-wool Democrats."

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.