September 1, 2014

Elyria
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Board defends mayoral candidate’s removal from ballot

ELYRIA — In court documents filed last week, the Lorain County Board of Elections asked the Ohio Supreme Court to uphold its decision to remove would-be Elyria mayoral candidate Tim Quinn from the November ballot.

Quinn

Quinn

Quinn sued the elections board in the Ohio Supreme Court earlier this month, accusing the board of violating his right to vote by kicking him off the ballot as an independent after he voted in the May Democratic primary.

Assistant County Prosecutor Gerald Innes wrote that Quinn isn’t being deprived of his right to vote, since he remains eligible to vote in the November general election.

Quinn was being held to a standard put in place by both the Ohio secretary of state’s office and the courts, both of which have determined that in order for someone to run as an independent they can’t vote in a partisan primary, Innes wrote.

Quinn has said that he voted only in the primary to replace retiring Elyria Law Director Terry “Pete” Shilling in which Assistant County Prosecutor Scott Serazin defeated then-Chief Elyria City Prosecutor Jay Grunda.

Quinn contends that if he wanted to have a voice in who the city’s next law director would be, he had no choice but to vote in the primary because there are no Republican or independent candidates for the office.

Quinn has said he didn’t vote in the Democratic mayoral primary in which Elyria Mayor Bill Grace was defeated by Holly Brinda, an Elyria school board member. Brinda will run against Republican Ray Noble in the fall contest.

In Quinn’s case, he filed to run as an independent in the mayoral race on May 2, and May 3 he voted in the Democratic primary.

Innes argued that Quinn’s decision to cast a ballot in the Democratic primary undermines his claim to be independent.

“The actions of (Quinn) are, at once, a devious interference with a political organization he purports not to belong to, and the perpetration of a fraud upon the public,” Innes wrote.

Quinn has pointed out that he has twice run for office as an independent — he unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2007 and City Council in 2009 — and voted in the Democratic primaries both times.

But Innes said that’s only proof that Quinn didn’t make a mistake when he voted in the primary this year.

Quinn later tried to file as a write-in candidate but was rejected on the grounds that he had already filed to run in the same election before, according to court documents.

Quinn has pushed for the Ohio Supreme Court to make a decision quickly so he can begin campaigning if he’ll be allowed on the ballot.

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