July 24, 2014

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Romoser new Lorain mayor


Republicans finally replace Foltin

LORAIN — After spending 28 days without one, Lorain finally has a mayor.

John Romoser, who also is the Republican Party’s candidate to run for the seat in November, was selected through secret ballot by the Republican Party Precinct Committee on Thursday night. He is the city’s 42nd mayor.

STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE
John and Mary Romoser at the Republican Party precinct committee meeting to select an interim mayor.

The selection now has to be certified by the county Board of Elections and the secretary of state within seven days, which means Romoser could start his new job as early as next week.

“It feels great,” Romoser said afterward. “Now I’m ready to get to work.”

Romoser beat out Deputy Safety Service Director Joe Arendt, who was selected by Lorain Area Republican Party Chairman David Arredondo to be considered by the committee for the city’s top job.

It isn’t clear by how much Romoser won because Helen Hurst, who ran the meeting as chairwoman of the county’s Republican Party Central Committee, said she did not want to reveal the vote tally.

“I will not give it out,” she said. “I’ll just say that John Romoser is now the mayor, and he has our full support.”
Romoser, who formerly served as the Sheffield mayor, will serve the remaining four months of former Mayor Craig Foltin’s term.

Foltin stepped down Aug. 2 to take a financial position with Cuyahoga Community College and announced in February that he would not be running for re-election.

The party could have called the meeting to select Foltin’s replacement five days after Foltin stepped down, as per state law, but it waited until Thursday to do so.

Hurst said a meeting had been scheduled for Aug. 15, but there was some confusion as to whether she or the party’s city chairman was legally allowed to call it. Eventually, it was determined that she would have to call the meeting since state law only recognizes state and county parties when it comes to appointing officials, she said.

Safety Service Director Mike Kobylka, who now will be working for Romoser, said at the meeting that he’s happy someone was finally selected.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “I’m happy the mayor’s office has finally been filled, and I’m looking forward to everything getting back to normal."

Contact Adam Wright at 653-6257 or awright@chroniclet.com.