The Stark County Board of Elections has tossed nine candidates including three incumbents off the November ballot for submitting invalid candidacy petitions. The result means fewer choices for voters.
The Stark County Board of Elections has tossed North Canton Councilman Mark Cerreta off the November ballot, ending his bid for re-election.
Cerreta failed to list his address beneath his signature on a petition form, said the board’s deputy director Jeanette Mullane.
He wrote his address on the first form, which had 13 signatures. But by not writing his address on the second petition form, it invalidated all 18 signatures on that form, said Mullane. Cerreta needed 25 valid signatures.
“It’s a fatal flaw,” she said.
With Cerreta off the ballot, that leaves three candidates for three North Canton council at-large seats: Incumbents Dan Griffith and Marcia Kiesling and challenger Robert “Jamie” McCleaster.
Cerreta, a pharmaceutical representative for Pfizer, said his address was on three of the four pages he submitted.
“They’ve got to know where Mark Ceretta lives,” he said, adding that he wished a board staffer had pointed out the omission of the address before he filed the form. But, “It’s all my fault. It’s not all on them ... it’s just so disappointing. ... I’m just looking at my options right now.”
McCleaster, a pharmaceutical representative for GlaxoSmithKline, said, “I’m actually disappointed. It’s not the way I wanted to get on city council. I think Mark is a great asset for the community.”
Any North Canton registered voter who’s lived in the city for at least two years except for Cerreta can run as a write-in candidate if they file a declaration with the Board of Elections by 4 p.m. Aug. 26. The names of write-in candidates don’t appear on the ballot, but voters can cast votes for them by writing their names on the ballot.
Unless there’s a write-in candidate added, only North Canton voters in Ward 4 would have a contested council race. There, Hillary Mueller is challenging Council President Jon Snyder. Mayor David Held and all other council incumbents are running unopposed.
Mullane said the Board of Elections also voted Thursday to take three other candidates off the ballot for submitting invalid petition forms:
• Incumbent Paul Band for East Canton Village Council and challengers Domenico Borsellino and Scott Hanood for Waynesburg Village Council.
Five others were disqualified for failing to submit enough valid petition signatures:
• Incumbent Justin Greenfelder for Meyers Lake Village Council.
• Challenger Georgine Lawson for Lawrence Township trustee, which means unless there’s a write-in candidate, incumbent Lester Kamph and challenger Shawn Lockhart are elected trustees.
• Challenger David Myers for Canton Township trustee, which means incumbents Chris Nichols and Bill Smith are now unopposed.
• Challenger Reginald Ray Jr. for Lake Local Board of Education
• Challenger Kurtis Stanley for Sandy Township Trustee, leaving incumbents Robert Fallot and Scott Welker unopposed.
Page 2 of 2 - Catherine Pomesky, who had filed to run for Sandy Valley Local School Board, withdrew from the ballot, leaving incumbent Dennis Corsi as the only candidate for two seats.
The board added to the ballot a proposed ordinance issue for Hartville that if approved by voters would require the village to grant income tax credits offsetting tax owed to the village on income earned by Hartville residents outside the village that’s subject to the income tax of another jurisdiction.
Mullane said a resident gathered enough valid signatures to put it on the ballot, but Village Council didn’t file it with the Board of Elections until two days after the filing deadline. She said the courts have ruled that under such circumstances, the issue should still be placed on the ballot.
The board also added Shaddrick Stinson on the ballot as a candidate for the Massillon Ward 4 council seat because members of the Stark County Democratic Party’s Central Committee who live in Ward 4 appointed Stinson to replace Quenessa Hampton who resigned from the seat.
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