Fellow Democrats Elyria City Councilman Marcus Madison and Avon Lake attorney Brendan Mackin both have pulled petitions to run for the state representative seat now held by term-limited Matt Lundy, D-Elyria.
Madison, 26, made the announcement Friday in an email blast to supporters. Mackin pulled petitions at the Lorain County Board of Elections earlier in the week but has not issued a formal announcement. Calls to his Avon Lake home were not answered.
Madison calls running for the 55th District in the State House a continuation of his passion to serve.
“Service is the greatest thing we can do,” he said. “I have thought long and hard about this opportunity and see it as a chance to serve with a fresh perspective toward helping not just Elyria, but the entire district.”
Madison has served four years as the Democrat representative of Elyria’s 5th Ward. He first snagged the seat in November 2009 when he was just 21. He defeated Kevin Krischer, who won in the 2007 election as an independent and sought re-election as a Democrat.
Mackin has never served in an elected position, but is a former assistant county prosecutor. He is the current assistant law director/city prosecutor for the city of Stow. He is also an Ohio National guardsman.
Mackin and Madison, who so far are the only candidates to express interest in Lundy’s seat, will face off in the May primary.
The deadline to announce a party candidacy is Feb. 5. The deadline to run as a write-in is Feb. 24 and independents have until May 5.
Acknowledging that this will be his first time venturing outside his ward, Madison said he doesn’t see himself as inexperienced. He is also the current development director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lorain County.
“If there is anything I have learned in the past four years, it is how important listening is to getting anything done,” he said. “I am willing to listen, willing to learn and willing to do whatever it takes to put the parts and pieces together to get things done.”
Madison credits several projects as successes in his tenure as a councilman, including fighting to demolish vacant homes in his ward, working with other city leaders to push the Middle Avenue reconstruction project forward — it’s slated to begin in 2014 — and introducing the social networking platform NextDoor to the city in an effort to connect neighbors.
The south side of Elyria has long been the part of the city with the lowest median income and highest level of poverty — mainly due to a low-income apartment complex and public housing development located within his ward. But Madison said he believes things are turning around in the neighborhood.
He points to the recent purchase of the old Smith Dairy on 15th Street as well as a shuttered ice cream shop on the corner of Oberlin-Elyria Road and West Avenue as signs of revitalization. Both are being repurposed.
Lundy has announced plans to run for Lorain County commissioner.