Ohio Supreme Court denies Gold election petition

The Supreme Court of Ohio rejected a Marietta mayoral hopeful’s petition to have his name placed on the May 2 ballot.

Ari Gold, owner of the TLV Restaurant on Front Street, filed a writ of mandamus petition earlier this month to compel the Washington County Board of Elections to put his name on the Democratic primary ballot after the board rejected his petition in February. The board cited Gold’s 2020 legal name change and the state code requirement that former names be listed on a petition if the change occurred within the previous five years.

In his petition, Gold, formerly known as David Labes, claimed the board acted unfairly and treated him differently than council president candidate David Grande, who was notified of an incorrect date on his petition and given an opportunity to correct or explain the issue at a board meeting, according to documents filed with the court. Grande’s petition was ultimately certified.

Gold also argued that he had used his current name and was commonly known by it for years before the legal change.

In its unanimous decision, the court said the Board of Elections “did not abuse its discretion or clearly disregard applicable law in finding that Gold had changed his name within five years of submitting his declaration of candidacy.”

The decision also says the board did not require a protest of Gold’s candidacy to disqualify him.

Gold could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

Dennis Sipe, chairman of the Board of Elections, said he hadn’t reviewed the entire decision.

“I guess I’m not surprised in that the statute was clear and there was a failure to comply with the statute,” he said.


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