By MARK TODD
An independent candidate hopes to run for Ashtabula County commissioner in November, based on petitions filed Monday at the county's Board of Elections office.
Willis Clay, a Trumbull Township trustee, could make it a three-man race in the fall, election officials said. Monday was the deadline for independents to file for the general election. Clay's petitions must be formally approved by the election board before his name is added to the ballot.
Clay's two opponents will be determined today. Democrats seeking to represent the party in November are Jacob Chicatelli, Phil Garcia, Jon Kozesky, Neil LaRusch and Stephen McClure. On the Republican side are Anthony L. Delia II, Gary Himes, Dennis Huey and Casey Kozlowski.
Incumbent commissioner Joe Moroski is not seeking another term.
Today's election also will shape the field for three county Common Pleas Court judgeships available next year. Judges Ronald Vettel, Alfred Mackey and Charles Hague must retire due to mandatory age limits. Here are the contenders:
n Seeking Vettel's seat are Democrats Samuel Altier, Virginia Miller and county court administrator Marianne Sezon. The winner will face chief assistant county prosecutor Harold E. Specht Jr. (Republican) in the fall.
n Seeking Mackey's spot on the bench are Democrats Tom Brown and Conneaut Municipal Court Judge Thomas Harris. The winner will face Ariana Tarighati (Republican) in November.
n Seeking Hague's probate/juvenile court position are Ashtabula Municipal Court Judge Albert Camplese and juvenile court magistrate Edith Hough. The winner will face Christopher Altier in the fall.
n Common Pleas Court Judge Gary Yost is not opposed in the election.
n Republicans will choose between incumbent U.S. Rep. David Joyce and Matt Lynch to take on Michael Wager (Democrat) for the 14th Congressional seat in November.
County Auditor Roger Corlett and County Prosecutor Nicholas Iarocci are unopposed.
Eighteen county issues and one state issue are also on the ballot today. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Voters in three Ashtabula City precincts will go to a new polling place today. People in Ashtabula 3B will vote at Zion Lutheran Church, 2310 W. 9th St., while voters in Ashtabula City 3A and 4A will vote at Gulfview Tower, 3526 Lake Ave.