It will be at least four more days before Marietta's Republican Central Committee can choose a candidate to run for Marietta City Auditor on the November general election ballot.
Current chief deputy auditor Sherri Hess and former auditor David Locke were both nominated by committee members during a meeting at the Washington County Board of Elections Office Wednesday evening.
But when it came to a final decision, the six of seven committee members in attendance deadlocked in a 3-3 vote.
The secret ballots were cast twice by committee members Marilyn Ashcraft, David White, Jim Schneider, Ralph Mohr, Paul Bertram III and Sharon Adams. Both votes resulted in a deadlock.
The tie is expected to be broken when the seventh central committee member, Bill Campbell, casts his vote for one of the nominees when the meeting resumes at 5 p.m. Monday in the board of elections office.
Hess, a 30-year veteran in the auditor's office, was nominated by current interim auditor Ralph Mohr.
"I'm committed to running an aggressive campaign and have the support of my family and I'm able to devote the time needed for the campaign," Hess told the committee.
"I also took charge of the office when (Locke) resigned in February," she said.
Locke, who resigned the auditor post to work for 6th District U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson, was nominated by Washington County Republican Party Chairwoman Marilyn Ashcraft.
Locke officially withdrew his name from the 2011 ballot in July but said he's now had a change of heart.
"This shouldn't be about personalities but about what's best for the city of Marietta," he told the committee members.
"I thank Congressman Johnson for allowing me to serve him these last several months," Locke said. "But I found that I missed the financial and technical aspects of being city auditor. I may have changed jobs but my heart never left the auditor's office."
During his tenure as auditor Locke said he had provided five-year financial forecasts for the city and worked for better auditing services.
"I'm also able to raise the thousands of dollars needed to run a quality campaign," he said.
Central committee chairman Jim Huggins said a majority of four votes would be required to nominate one candidate over the other and the deadlock would have to be broken by Campbell.
Huggins also noted that, according to Roberts Rules of Order which govern the committee's proceedings, Campbell could not have cast a vote by proxy during Wednesday's session.
The candidate chosen by the committee will face Independent Dana Singer of Marietta on the November ballot.
Other challenged races for Marietta offices on the November ballot include:
According to Tara Hupp, deputy director of the Washington County Board of Elections, non-partisan candidates for elected office have until 4 p.m. Aug. 10 to file for the November general election.
Write-in candidates must file by 4 p.m. Aug. 29 for the general election.