ASHTABULA — Ashtabula County Democrats have picked Richard Quaranta to fill the Ward 3 city council seat, but Republican and former officeholder Kristy Hosken is challenging to get the post back.
City Council President John Roskovics announced Monday that Quaranta had been chosen over the weekend to be the next councilperson and that he would be “joining us at the next meeting.”
However Hosken, who lost her bid for re-election last November to Democrat Reginald Holman, has filed a request for a temporary restraining order in Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court. The complaint names City Council and the Democratic Precinct Committee as the defendants.
When contacted by phone Monday, Hosken referred all questions to her attorney, Casey P. O’Brien of Chardon.
According to the complaint, Holman was not a valid candidate and therefore, Hosken was the only rightful candidate on the November ballot, O’Brien said.
“Everyone is a victim here,” he said. “We want to make sure everyone is treated fairly.”
Quaranta, who did not attend Monday night’s meeting, said via telephone that he had no comment at this time.
City Council and City Manager Jim Timonere had not yet received a copy of the complaint as of Monday night’s meeting.
Holman resigned April 2 just hours before City Council was prepared to approve a resolution finding he vacated and forfeited the office of Ward 3 representative by reason of non-residency and failing to qualify as a voter.
City Solicitor Michael Franklin presented the resolution on March 30 after county election officials concluded Holman provided an incorrect address to election board staff when registering to vote, according to election officials.
Two weeks ago, Democrats chose 31-year-old Tara Hawkins for the Ward 3 seat. However six days later, she had to decline the appointment after learning she can not serve on Ashtabula City Council and be employed at the Ashtabula County Treasurer’s Office at the same time.
According to the State Attorney General’s Office, the chief treasurer, as well as any deputy treasurers, can not serve on City Council. Though Hawkins is a real estate tax collector at the Ashtabula County Treasurer’s Office, her official title is deputy treasurer — a classified employee.
The Precinct Committee first chose Hawkins and then Quaranta out of a total of three candidates.
Robert Goodrum was the third contender.
Throughout the past 40 years, Quaranta, 72, served the city in many capacities, including Ward 3 council member from 1988-1989. The Ashtabula City Democratic Precinct Committee chose Quaranta during a meeting Saturday at the Hubbard House in the Ashtabula Harbor.