Independents have until May 6 to file

The November general election ballot will be filled out in the weeks and months ahead.

There aren’t enough Democrats or Republicans to require a primary in Washington County this year, although voters in Aurelius Township will still weigh in on a Caldwell Exempted Village Schools levy.

May 6, the day before the primary would have been held, is the last day for independent candidates seeking positions in Marietta or Belpre to file to run.

So far, incumbent Marietta Councilman Michael Mullen, I-at large, and Belpre resident Callie Lyons have taken out petitions – Mullen for his current seat, Lyons for an at-large seat on Belpre’s council.

If he files, Mullen, who served two terms on council and eight years as mayor before being voted back onto council in 2011, would be the fifth at-large candidate. Also running are fellow incumbent Harley Noland and political newcomer Kathleen Downer, both Democrats. Jon Grimm, a former 3rd Ward councilman, and previous candidate Michael Boersma, are running on the Republican ticket.

Councilmen Roger Kalter, Steve Thomas and Tom Vukovic, all Democrats, are so far unopposed in their bids for re-election to seats in the 1st, 3rd and 4th wards, respectively. Incumbent Councilman Mike McCauley, D-2nd, will be challenged in the fall by Republican James Wilson.

Running for council president are former council member Josh Schlicher, a Republican, and Democrat Kevin Paskawych. Treasurer candidates are Republican Cathy Harper, a former councilwoman, and Democrat Willa O’Neill.

There’s no opposition for any Belpre offices at this point, and in a couple cases, no candidate. Incumbent council members Larry Martin, R-1st Ward; Deborah Marshall, D-2nd Ward; Dewey Robinson, D-4th Ward; Susan Abdella, R-at large; and John Newberry, D-at large, are running for re-election, as is council President Will Neff, a Republican.

Councilman Eric Sinnett, D-3rd Ward, is not running, nor is anyone else in that ward. Independent at-large Councilman Robert Wallace has not filed and could not be reached for comment for this story.

If Lyons, who considered a run for an at-large seat as a Republican, files, she would be unopposed for the third seat unless another independent or a write-in candidate ran.

Belpre Auditor Leslie Pittenger, a Republican, is unopposed in her bid for re-election, and the only candidate to file for treasurer is Republican Kylie Martin, who would replace current Treasurer Bill McAfee.

There will be a number of nonpartisan seats on the Nov. 5 ballot, including three seats each on the Belpre City, Fort Frye and Frontier Local, Marietta City and Warren Local boards of education and two on the boards for Wolf Creek Local and the Ohio Valley Educational Service Center. Four seats each will be on the ballot for the Beverly, Lowell, Lower Salem, Macksburg and New Matamoras village councils, plus one seat on each village’s board of public affairs. Two seats on each township board of trustees are also up for votes.

Some candidates have already taken out petitions for these jobs, and a handful have returned them. The deadline to file for nonpartisan races is 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7.

People who decide to run as write-ins for city, township or school district offices must file declarations of intent by 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26.