Monday, August 13, 2001

Council candidates will argue to election board

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NORWOOD — Two candidates in the city's Fourth Ward will argue before the Hamilton County Board of Elections August 22 whether one of them should be allowed to run.

        John Fenton, a Democrat, claims his opponent, Marian Hochbein, a Republican, should not be allowed in the race.

        Ms. Hochbein filed to run as a Republican candidate, replacing Charles Marshall, who had been unopposed heading into the May primary but withdrew before it.

        Mr. Fenton says that state law does not specifically allow for a replacement candi date in that circumstance.

        “We pretty much agree on the statement of facts in the case, but we don't agree what the law says about replacing a candidate that was not nominated by a primary election,” Mr. Fenton said.

        Mr. Marshall and Mr. Fenton were the only candidates to file for the May 7 Primary.

        “We will exchange briefs on August 20 and, if no agreement is reached, we will argue before the election board and let it decide the issue,” Mr. Fenton said.

        Ms. Hochbein is making her first bid for political office. Her attorney, Don McTigue of Columbus, has been handling election law cases for 17 years.

        “This presents a very interesting legal question,” he said. “Generally election laws favor providing ... access to competitive elections.”

        He thinks the law will favor Ms. Hochbein, because the election board had issued a certificate of nomination to Mr. Marshall before he dropped out.

        “It is the same kind of certificate that is issued when a candidate is nominated by a primary election,” Mr. McTigue said.

        “If a candidate has no opponent, the certificate of nomination is issued when the candidate files petitions for election. It is the same as when you win in a primary.”


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