Local seats up for grabs in Election 2017

By Jason Hawk - jhawk@civitasmedia.com

With America’s presidential decision made, the starting gun is already firing on Election 2017.

Odd-numbered years mean local races, and there are plenty of Lorain County city, village, township, and school board leadership spots expiring next December — which means we can anticipate a year of campaigning by area incumbents and would-be officials.

Here’s what will be in voters’ hands in the News-Times coverage area:

• Amherst’s chief financial seats, four-year terms: The city treasurer is currently Richard Ramsey (R) and the auditor is David Kukucka (D).

• Amherst city council president, two-year term: Presently held by John Dietrich (D).

• Three Amherst city council at-large seats, two-year terms: Held now by David Janik (D), Joe Miller (D), and Phil Van Treuren (R).

• Four Amherst council ward seats, two-year terms: Occupied now by Steve Bukovac (D-Ward 1), David Goodell (R-Ward 2), Chuck Winiarski (R-Ward 3), and Jennifer Wasilk (R-Ward 4).

• Four South Amherst village council seats, four-year terms: Presently held by Dennis Burdue, Donna Hauck, Susan Howell, and Robert James

• A South Amherst board of public affairs seat, four-year term: Held now by Dean Nichols.

• Two Amherst Township trustee seats, four-year terms: Held by Dennis Abraham and Neil Lynch.

• Three Amherst board of education seats, four-year terms: Held today by Teresa Gilles, Bob Kamnikar, and Ron Yacobozzi.

• Three Firelands school board seats, four year terms: Occupied now by Jane Battig, Ben Gibson, and Daniel Pycraft.

Amherst city offices are partisan, meaning Democrats and Republicans will have May 2 primaries for contested races. The deadline to file with the Lorain County Board of Elections for partisan seats is Feb. 1.

Other races are non-partisan and get to skip the primaries, going straight to the general election on Nov. 7, 2017.

The filing deadline is typically 90 days prior to the general election. However, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office has not yet released a 2017 candidates’ guide putting that deadline in stone.

County elections workers say they’ve been unable to give would-be candidates a specific date in August by which they must file to run. There’s certainly already been interest, though, with many eager to get the necessary signatures required to appear on the ballot.

For more information on running for office, call the Lorain County Board of Elections at 440-326-5900.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

By Jason Hawk