SHEFFIELD LAKE – Sheffield Lake Mayor John Piskura said Friday he is considering throwing his hat in the ring for county commissioner.
“I’ve not committed just yet,” Piskura said. “I think the county needs help, and I think I have enough experience that I can contribute and actually do some good.”
Piskura, also a Bay Village firefighter, recently announced he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
He said his illness and its effects need to be taken into consideration before he makes a decision on whether to run for Commissioner Betty Blair’s seat. He said he’s spoken to Blair about running “for some time.”
Blair said she did talk to Piskura while the pair waited for President Barack Obama to speak last Friday at Lorain County Community College, but said she doesn’t remember the gist of that conversation.
“I know that John has been interested in the past,” Blair said. “He makes No. 12 who’ve expressed an interest or taken out petitions on the Democrats’ or independents’ side. I’m interested in seeing if any Republicans are interested in running.”
Piskura said his cancer sidelined other political plans before the commissioner’s race came along.
“Without knowing for sure what’s going to happen here in the short term with my cancer, that’s the biggest reason I can’t commit,” Piskura said, adding that he’d committed to running for the 56th district’s state representative seat but changed his mind after his diagnosis. He said he plans to support candidate Jose Candelario, current director of the county board of elections, for that seat.
Also affecting his decision is his job with the Bay Village Fire Department.
Piskura said talks with Bay Village Mayor Deborah Sutherland have indicated he’d have to retire from the Fire Department if he files to run for commissioner.
“Her reaction has been mixed,” Piskura said, declining to be more specific.
A message left at Sutherland’s office wasn’t returned Friday.
The filing deadline is 4 p.m. Feb. 18 at the county board of election’s office.
If successful, Piskura’s term as commissioner would begin in January 2011 while his term as mayor doesn’t end until December 2011.
Piskura has been mayor for six years and served on Sheffield Lake’s City Council for three years before that.
“I’ve got a good track record in Sheffield Lake,” he said. “I think I have enough experience that I can contribute and actually do some good.”
With six weeks of chemotherapy to go, Piskura said he’s been dealing with his cancer long enough to know he still could run a campaign, but he hasn’t made a final decision.
“My future is so uncertain at the moment with my current illness, although I’ve spoken to my doctors, and with certain restrictions, I could potentially run and go through a campaign,” Piskura said. “Things are kind of uncertain. I would like to run, but I just can’t commit right now. I still have some decisions to make.”
Also Friday, county Auditor Mark Stewart announced that he had filed paperwork to seek a fifth term.
Contact Alicia Castelli at 329-7144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.