Five vying to fill London council vacancy

(Posted Jan. 19, 2015)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The London representatives on the Madison County Republican Central Committee will choose from among five candidates to fill the London City Council at-large seat vacated by Rodney Lauer earlier this month.

The candidates are Jim Boyd, Henry Comer, Megan Douglas, Josh Peters and John Stahl.

The committee will make the selection at a meeting on Jan. 20 at the Madison County Emergency Management Agency, 271 Elm St., London. They will meet first in executive session at 5:30 p.m., then cast a voice vote in public session at 6 p.m.

Lauer vacated the seat because he is taking a job out of state. His term expires on Dec. 31. By law, the central committee must appoint another Republican to complete the term.

Initially, nine people expressed interest in the seat, said Steve Saltsman, committee chairman.

“It was encouraging to see so many interested in it,” he said.

Two of the nine were deemed ineligible because they are not affiliated with the Republican party at this time. Two others withdrew prior to interviews. The committee interviewed the remaining five on Jan. 13.

Only the five members of the central committee who represent London will cast votes to decide who fills the seat. They are Saltsman, Teresa Ames, Bill Blazer, Bonnie Hamilton and Steve Scaggs. To make the appointment, they need a simple majority vote of 3 out of 5.

“To me it’s an important function of the central committee, but it’s not a pleasant function of central committee,” Saltsman said of making appointments to vacated seats. “I don’t know how many voters there are in London, maybe 4,000 or 5,000, and we’re five people literally making a decision for those people.”

Saltsman has been a member of the Republican Central Committee since the mid-1980s. During his tenure, he has been part of making appointments at the city and county level.

“We’ve been very fortunate. I don’t think we’ve ever had a bad choice,” he said.

London City Council’s three at-large seats are up for election this year. The two-year terms start in January 2016. The deadline to file for the May primary election is Feb. 4.

 

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