Saturday, June 7, 2003

Zuk gets out of race for Clermont County judge



By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BATAVIA - A Democrat who sought a spot on the November ballot in the race for a Clermont County municipal judge's seat withdrew his name from contention Friday.

W. Kenneth Zuk, a former Clermont County judge, now in private practice, submitted a two-sentence letter to the county Board of Elections Friday stating that he wanted out of the upcoming race.

"Please do not move forward with the certification of my nominating petitions," the letter stated, according to Dan Bare, director of the county's Board of Elections.

Zuk had sought to run against incumbent Clermont County Municipal Judge Thomas R. Herman. Republican contender Anthony W. Brock, an assistant Clermont County prosecutor, is also vying for Herman's seat.

No specific reason for withdrawal was given in Zuk's letter, and he could not be reached for comment Friday. However, his withdrawal might have been related to problems with his petitions.

Potential candidates were required to submit their nominating petitions by May 5. Zuk submitted petitions containing about 329 signatures, officials said.

But as of mid-May, officials with the Board of Elections had been able to confirm fewer than 250 of those signatures as valid, registered Clermont County voters.

In order to be placed on the ballot, potential candidates need at least 250 valid signatures.

The board held off certifying nominating petitions in the race until June 26, to get more time to check Zuk's signatures.

Priscilla O'Donnell, head of the Clermont County Democratic Party, said Friday that Zuk's departure was disappointing, but understandable. About 45 people who signed Zuk's nominating petitions weren't registered to vote, she said, adding that another 35 had changed residences, which invalidated their voting status.

E-mail mmccain@enquirer.com




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