It is with a heavy heart that I compose this letter to you with some sobering news. This morning, just over two weeks after I filed as a write-in candidate for the Democratic Nomination to run as Newark’s next mayor, the Board of Elections has called me to inform me that they will not be certifying my petition.
They said that they have spent the past couple of weeks looking into this matter, and despite the fact that I filed properly, and before the deadline, they are not certifying my petition because the Board decided prior to my petition not to host a primary election in Newark this May. Moreover, as a result of my decision to file as a Democrat – a decision that I do not regret -, I am precluded from running as an Independent for any office this year.
I am thankful for the support that I have received from all of you in these past couple of weeks. I wholeheartedly apologize for letting you down in this endeavor.
So as to prevent the Mayor of Newark from easily sliding into an unprecedented fourth term, however, I am hereby issuing a plea to anyone reading this who may be interested and who will do a better job than Mayor Hall to file as an Independent for this office.
The deadline to file for Mayor as an Independent is May 1st, and you will require 146 valid signatures to get on the ballot (this is because Ohio law requires independent candidates to get one percent of the total vote in the most recent gubernatorial election, and 14,600 Newark citizens voted in last November’s election).
I pledge that after I affirm that you will be better at this job than our current Mayor, I will do everything in my power to help you get on the ballot (something that I have successfully done in the past when time is tight, including collecting over 30 valid signatures in less than a week to get a friend of mine on the ballot to help put them over the top and get them certified in time for the deadline), and I will campaign tirelessly on your behalf.
This news came as kind of a shock to me, but I am not going to sit here and whine about it when we have important work to do to build the Newark that the people of this City need and deserve.
While this news is disappointing, I want you to know that I am never deterred from fighting for the things I believe in. Until my dying day, you can count on me.