Two file for Marietta mayor’s race

Two people have filed to run in Marietta’s mayoral race this year, although there won’t be a primary race.

Wednesday’s filing deadline showed that only Belpre Republicans will see contested primary races for the city’s first and fourth wards and for the at-large seats as well as for the Republican nomination for mayor.

Mayor Mike Lorentz, a Democrat, and Independent candidate Romel Henderson will then face off against the Republican winner of that primary.

Current Marietta Mayor Joe Matthews did not file by Wednesday’s 4 p.m. deadline to run as a Democrat again for a sixth term of office.

“If I decide to run it will be as an Independent before the primary election,” said Matthews, 80. “A lot of people have asked me to run again, and others ask why I don’t retire or are worried about my health. But I’m cancer-free and healthy, so I just haven’t decided yet.”

Independent candidates have until the day before the May 7 election to file.

Without Matthews’ filing under the Democratic ticket, Harley Noland, 67, and Josh Schlicher, 42, were the only two candidates to file with the Washington County Board of Elections to run for the seat.

Noland, former councilman-at-large for four two-year terms, previously lost to Matthews in the Democratic primary in 2015.

Schlicher, current council president, is running as a Republican after first being appointed to council as an at-large representative six years ago and then successfully running for three terms as president.

“I’m running for mayor to make over municipal management of Marietta,” said Schlicher after turning in his petitions Wednesday. “If you look at my history with the city, my record of always trying to work with everyone for the betterment of Marietta shows. I have respect for city employees and residents and getting along with everybody is half the battle.”

Schlicher said he has eyes on operational and planning changes if elected as mayor.

Noland said he’s running with eyes on development and job growth.

“After serving on council for several terms I see certain projects and approaches to government that I can bring to Marietta,” he explained. “The needs of the city are changing with modern times and in order to maintain employment and downtown vitality we need to be proactive in development plans instead of reactive.”

The two, and possibly Matthews if he files by May 6, will be pitted against each other come the Nov. 5 election.

Other filings were:

Marietta Incumbents:

• Marietta City Law Director Paul Bertram and Marietta City Auditor Sherri Hess were the only people to file to fill their subsequent seats for another four-year term.

• Councilman Mike Scales filed to run for the first ward.

• Councilman Mike McCauley filed to run for the second ward.

• Councilman Steve Thomas filed to run for the third ward.

• Councilman Geoff Schenkel filed to run for the fourth ward.

• Councilwoman Kathy Downer filed to run for councilwoman-at-large.

• Councilwoman Cassidi Shoaf filed to run for councilwoman-at-large.

Marietta new faces:

• Republican Susan Vessels filed to run as Marietta City Council President.

• Republican William “Bill” Gossett filed to run for the third ward.

• Republican Kyle Boker filed to run for second ward.

• Democrat Susan Boyer filed to run for councilwoman-at-large.

• Republican Russell Mercer filed to run for councilman-at-large.

Marietta voters will not see any contested primary races on the May 7 ballot. There are three at-large council seats available.

Belpre Incumbents:

• Belpre City Law Director Tom Webster was the only person to file to fill his seat for another four-year term.

• Belpre City Auditor Leslie Pittinger did not file petitions to run by the Wednesday deadline, though she may still file as an Independent candidate by May 6.

• Mayor Mike Lorentz filed to run for mayor.

• President of Council Will Neff file to run for president.

• Councilman Josh Campbell filed to run for the first ward.

• Councilman Elmer Shutts filed to run for the second ward.

• Councilman Timothy Gant filed to run for the third ward.

• Councilwoman Penne Riffle filed to run for the fourth ward.

• Councilwoman Susan Abdella filed to run for councilwoman-at-large.

• Councilwoman Donna Miller filed to run for councilwoman-at-large.

Belpre new faces:

• Councilwoman Judith Drake filed to run for mayor.

• Romel Henderson filed to run for mayor.

• John McClead filed to run for mayor.

** Republicans McClead and Drake will see a contested primary race.

• Kelly Cox filed to run for the fourth ward and will face incumbent Riffle in a Republican primary contest.

• David Ferguson filed for councilman-at-large.

• Larry Martin filed for councilman-at-large.

• Donna Miller filed for councilwoman-at-large.

There are no levies or issues on the May ballot.

At a glance:

• Only Belpre Republicans will see a contested primary election this year in the first ward, fourth ward, for council-at-large and for mayor.

• The Washington County Board of Elections will next meet at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 20 to certify the ballot.

• Feb. 25 is the filing deadline for write-in candidates.

• April 8 is the deadline to register to vote for the May 7 election.

• April 9 will be the first day of early voting.

• May 6 is the deadline for Independent candidates to file.

Source: Washington County Board of Elections.

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