Dayton has 3 for mayor, 5 for commission in May runoff

Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 4:58 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 4:58 PM

Dayton will have runoff votes for both mayor and city commission May 7, as the petitions for three people were verified for mayor and five for the commission race.

In the mayor race, the Montgomery County Board of Elections on Wednesday certified the petitions of current Mayor Gary Leitzell and former judge and county auditor A.J. Wagner. They are joined in the race by city commissioner Nan Whaley, whose petitions were certified last month.

The top two vote-getters in the mayoral runoff will advance to the November election.

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Eric LaMont Gregory and Derek Folley also submitted petitions to run for mayor, but the BOE ruled that neither man met the Dayton charter requirement of 500 valid signatures from Dayton registered voters.

Gregory turned in 1,021 signatures, but only 436 were ruled valid. Folley turned in 921, but only 328 were deemed valid. Dayton’s requirement of 500 signatures is much higher than other local cities, and is 10 times higher than the 50 valid signatures needed to run for Congress.

The candidates for city commission will be incumbent Joey Williams, advertising agency owner David Esrati, state school board member Jeffrey Mims, Northwest Priority Board Chairman David K. Greer, and digital media company president Joseph Lutz.

Lutz, who said he began collecting signatures very late in the process and rushed to meet the filing deadline, barely met the signature requirement, with 506 valid signers. BOE officials said the other candidates comfortably cleared the bar.

The BOE deferred until 7 a.m. Thursday to rule on the petitions of William Pace, who hopes to run for city commission. BOE Deputy Director Steve Harsman said Pace filed more than 500 valid signatures, but failed to sign the statement of candidacy, which is required by Dayton’s charter.

Neither Pace nor any other candidate attended the BOE’s 4 p.m. Wednesday meeting to deal with potential problems. BOE officials said if Pace filed the signed statement after closing hours but before midnight, they would turn to the city law director for an opinion on whether his document met charter requirements.

Reached just before 6 p.m., Pace called the situation “insane” and “a nightmare,” but did not answer whether he would try to file the document in some way.

The top four vote-getters in the commission race will run for two seats in November.