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Mayor mum on future plans

No candidates have officially filed for any city office yet

January 17, 2011
By Evan Bevins,

He still won't say whether he's running for a third term, but Marietta Mayor Michael Mullen does plan to pick up petitions from the board of elections soon.

"I would not say (I'm) definitely running," he said. "I would say I'll make some decisions (this) week."

As four other candidates have taken out petitions and expressed an interest in being the Pioneer City's chief executive, Mullen has answered questions about whether he'll seek re-election by saying his primary focus is on the city's current financial struggles.

But with a little more than two weeks until the filing deadline for the May primary, he'll have to make a move soon.

Councilman Jon Grimm, R-3rd Ward, announced in December that he was throwing his hat into the ring for mayor. Fine Art and Framing Gallery owner and Marietta OH 9-12 Project member Glenn Newman has also taken out petitions for a possible run, as have William C. Hart Jr. and Jeremy Thomas.

In addition to mayor, all seven city council seats, as well as the jobs of council president, auditor and law director are up for grabs this year. In Belpre, the mayor, council members, council president and law director will be on the ballot.

Fact Box

May 3 primary

Petitions to run or for ballot issues must be submitted in the Washington County Board of Elections office by 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2.

The deadline for write-in candidates to file declarations of intent for the primary is 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22.

Independent candidates wanting to run in the Nov. 8 general election have until May 2 to submit their petitions.

No candidates have officially filed to run, although 30 had taken out papers as of Friday, according to Washington County Board of Elections director Peggy Byers. She said it isn't that unusual to see people wait until closer to the filing deadline - 4 p.m. on Feb. 2 - to make their plans official.

Two people have taken out petitions for the 3rd Ward seat currently occupied by Grimm - Iris Schmitt and Steve Thomas.

The remaining six council members have taken out petitions, with four of them - Mike McCauley, D-2nd Ward; Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward; Harley Noland, D-at large; and recently appointed Josh Schlicher, R-at large - indicating they would seek re-election to their current seats.

Councilman David White, R-1st Ward, has said he would be open to running for an at large seat if a strong Republican candidate sought the ward post. So far, the only other person expressing interest in that seat is Roger Kalter, who would run as a Democrat, but was also considering an at large bid.

Councilwoman Kathy Shively, D-at large, did not indicate her plans when picking up information at the board office. Shively has served a total of nine terms on council, both as an at large member and as council president.

No candidates have yet expressed an interest in the council president job.

That's currently occupied by Paul Bertram III, a Republican expected to face off in the party primary for city law director against Assistant Washington County Prosecutor Susan Vessels.

Current Law Director Roland Riggs III is not running for re-election. No Democrats have picked up petitions to run for the job.

Other potential council candidates include former 2nd Ward Councilman Randy Wilson and 4th Ward resident Glen McCabe. Both Republicans have said they haven't decided between ward and at large seats.

Also in the mix is Nate Wooley, who ran as a Democratic candidate for the Washington County Commission in 2010. Wooley has picked up petitions but hasn't indicated which post he might have his eye on.

"I think the response to my campaign was good, and several people have asked me to run again," he said. "That's flattering, and I think I can still help."

Marietta Auditor David Locke has picked up petitions to run for re-election, as has Municipal Court Judge Janet Dyar-Welch. So far, they are unopposed.

The only candidates to pick up petitions to run for Belpre offices as of Friday afternoon were the incumbents - Mayor Mike Lorentz, Law Director Tom Webster, Council President Will Neff and Councilmen Larry Martin, R-1st Ward; Debbie Marshall, D-2nd Ward; Eric Sinnett, D-3rd Ward; Dewey Robinson, D-4th Ward; Susan Abdella, R-at large; Linda Boso, R-at large; and John Baker, D-at large.



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