Wednesday, September 08, 1999
Disqualified candidate may run
Write-in race a choice after petition flap
BY RICHELLE THOMPSON
The Cincinnati Enquirer
LEBANON Jane Davenport's name will not appear on the November ballot for Lebanon City Council, but she hasn't given up on making it into office and maybe into Warren County history.
The four-member Warren County Election Board denied her appeal Tuesday to be included on the ballot.
Mrs. Davenport failed to write in the number of signatures she had witnessed on three of seven candidacy petitions, disqualifying those petitions and leaving her six signatures shy of the needed 50 to run for office.
The board said state law dictates each petition be filled out completely in order to be certified.
Mrs. Davenport said she may run as a write-in candidate. Deadline to apply for write-in status is Monday.
It would be an uphill battle. Bev Moore, director of the board of elections, said she can't recall a write-in candidate winning a contested race since she started working for the county in 1975.
They say no one in Warren County has ever won with a write-in candidacy, Mrs. Davenport said Tuesday. I may try to be the first.
She already has a core group of supporters.
About 15 people crowded the county office where the board met. They claimed the board of elections staff treated Mrs. Davenport unfairly. Supporters said that while staff pointed out flaws on the petitions of council candidates Jim Reinhard and Ben Cole, no one told Mrs. Davenport her petitions were incomplete.
Mrs. Moore said the appeal the first she can recall will not change how her office handles petitions. She said her employees try to help everyone who comes into the office, but ultimately the accuracy and completeness of the petitions lies with the candidate.
Jennifer Niehaus said the board's decision makes her question the state statute.
We don't have enough good people running for office, she said.
Mrs. Davenport was one of two candidates whose petitions were not certified. Stephen Kaiser petitioned to run for a Lebanon City School Board seat. He did not sign the petitions, so they were all thrown out. Mr. Kaiser did not appeal.
Also, Tuesday was the final filing date for an unexpired term for Clearcreek Township trustee. The seat became open in late August when long-term trustee Noel Poe died.
Petitions were filed by Gregory McDonald, Everett Manning, Jerry E. Johnson and William J. Miller. The board is expected to meet Friday to certify the petitions.
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