Thursday, November 02, 2000

Write-ins make incumbents work harder for votes

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Write-in candidates have some Northern Kentucky politicians intensifying their campaigns for city council seats that they assumed would be theirs.

        The incumbents say they are knocking on doors a bit harder and passing out more fliers now that there is a greater need to make their names known.

        In Villa Hills, there are 10 people, including four write-in candidates, who are vying for six council seats. In Park Hills, five write-in candidates and three incumbents are vying for six spots.

        In Alexandria, the write-in candidate actually is an incumbent — Michelle Kiddy. She is among seven candidates competing for six council seats.

        To compete, the write-in candidates met a Monday deadline to pay a $50 registration and fill out an election form.

        “It causes you to work harder, of course, which is a good thing” said Mike Sadouskas, a Villa Hills incumbent.

        The write-in candidates have made the Villa Hills race even more fierce than it was at the start. The city has been embroiled in controversy in the last several months.

        Council members and Mayor Steve Clark have battled over decisions and procedures within the city government. Also, the Kentucky Attorney General's Office and the Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Office are inquiring into a $25,025 check that the mayor sent this spring to a Florence concrete company. Council members have said they were unaware that the check existed. Any expenditure greater than $10,000 must be put out to bid, according to state law.

        Spending records from a previous Villa Hills administration were examined by the state auditor's office after the mayor's supporters questioned expenditures at Hooter's and for Christmas party alcohol.

        Park Hills incumbent Bill Muske said he doesn't mind that there are so many write-in candidates. There was a point when there weren't enough candidates to fill the six open seats available, he said.

        The dearth is what inspired some Park Hills residents to become write-in candidates.

        “I've got as good a shot as most of the write-ins,” said Susan Ferguson, a homemaker who moved to Park Hills less than two years ago. “If I'm not there as a City Council member, I'll just be there as a local person at the meetings.”


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- Write-ins make incumbents work harder for votes