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Libertarians, Greens, and an independent work to get on Columbus, Ohio city council

Doug Caruso in the Columbus Dispatch, by way of Steve Linnabary in IPR comments, writing about candidates working to get on the ballot in technically nonpartisan Columbus, Ohio city council races (excerpt):

On Saturday morning, Mark Noble, who is leading a slate of three Libertarian Party candidates that includes Bob Bridges and Andrew Ullman, set out in 15-degree weather to seek signatures door to door in Clintonville.

His team was already close.

“I’m two signatures away from collecting 900 signatures just by myself,” Noble said Wednesday. “I’ve been working on it since November.”

Noble is a software engineer for the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, an online charter school. His office is on the South Side, so he knocks on doors there after work. He lives in Clintonville, so like Garcia, he likes to collect signatures outside the Whetstone library.

The city’s 1,000-signature requirement is a high hurdle designed to hinder independents and third-party candidates, Noble said.

He needed just 25 signatures to run for state representative a few years ago: “I got the signatures in one afternoon.”

Bob Fitrakis, a political-science professor at Columbus State Community College who has run as a Democrat or a Green Party candidate in numerous elections, also is trying to get on the council ballot this year.

He’s circulating petitions with a mixed slate he identifies as Greens and progressive Democrats. But it hasn’t been going well, he said, mostly because the weather has been so bad. Green Party activists from throughout Ohio were to come to Columbus on Saturday to help collect signatures, but Fitrakis canceled that when he saw the weather forecast.

According to a followup article by Caruso,

As many as a dozen candidates for the Columbus City Council could crowd the May primary ballot.

Four Democratic incumbents, four Republicans, three Libertarians and an independent candidate all filed petitions yesterday to run in a field race for four seats.

Each candidate or slate of up to four candidates had to turn in petitions with at least 1,000 valid signatures by 4p.m. yesterday to make the ballot.

If the Franklin County Board of Elections certifies at least nine candidates for the ballot, it will force a primary in May. The board is to rule on the petitions by Feb. 14, a spokesman said.

In the primary, the top eight vote-getters, regardless of party, would move on to the November election, which will determine the four winners.

According to Caruso’s article, three Libertarian candidates filed over 1,500 signatures for the 1,000 signature requirement, but the Greens did not end up filing their signatures, presumably because they did not get enough.

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  1. paulie paulie February 8, 2011

    A very noble effort indeed. I was freezing my ass off in Maryland, and it wasn’t even as cold as what I read in this article.

  2. Steven R Linnabary Steven R Linnabary February 8, 2011

    from Mark Nobles’ FB page:

    Mark Noble
    Board of Elections says we’re good on signatures, but nothing ‘official’ until Monday.


    FWIW, it was Mark that did the bulk of the winter petitioning.


  3. paulie paulie February 7, 2011

    Gotta respect being able to work outdoors in that kind of weather.

  4. Mashed Potato with a Twist Mashed Potato with a Twist February 7, 2011


    I get cold just reading that.

  5. Steven R Linnabary Steven R Linnabary February 7, 2011

    LOL, way more.

    It takes 500 valid sigs for any statewide office (5000 for independents), 1000 valid sigs for City Council or mayor.

    On the bright side, it’s also 1000 valid sigs to run an entire slate of candidates which is the route taken by the LP folks. I think the Greens were going this route also.


  6. Vaughn Vaughn February 7, 2011

    The same signatures required for city council in Columbus as to run for Governor? What?

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