Canal Winchester mayoral candidate Steve Donahue will not appear on the November ballot as the Franklin County Board of Elections rejected his appeal of his disqualification at a hearing on Sept. 10.
According to a statement released by the board of elections on Sept. 10, "Donahue failed to complete any portion of the circulator statement on his five petitions."
However, incumbent Mayor Jeff Miller will not run unopposed as the board of elections certified Michael Ebert as a write-in candidate for mayor of Canal Winchester.
"It’s truly unfair," said Donahue on Sept. 11. "One guy gets a shot three times. I had all the documents, but the bottom line is I made a mistake, so I’m just moving on. Right now, I’m going to help get Mike (Ebert) elected. He’s an excellent, honest person that would do an outstanding job as mayor. He’s lived here all his life and is a Canal Winchester graduate."
Donahue, a Canal Winchester councilman, was previously told his name would not appear in the race for mayor because of a lack of information in the circulator statement on his petitions. He filed an appeal based on the re-filing of petitions by Ed Dildine, a candidate for Madison Township trustee.
"It seems to me that if one candidate is given a second chance, then all candidates should be given a second chance," said Donahue in a letter to Bill Anthony of the Franklin County Board of Elections. "Therefore, I am requesting that you rethink the harsh consequences of disqualification and give those public servants who have dedicated their careers to serving their community a fair shot at serving their public."
However, Board of Elections Deputy Director Dennis White said Dildine was able to take advantage of a recent change in state election law which allows a candidate to re-file their petitions provided the board has not taken action on the documents. Donahue was not aware of the error until after the board ruled him ineligible.