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Law says ballot issue ‘was a distraction’

WARREN — Randy Law said his temporary removal from the ballot “was a distraction, but that’s politics.”

Law made the comment Friday after a short Trumbull County Board of Elections meeting at which he was reinstated as an independent candidate for Warren mayor. That came four days after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the board erred in disqualifying him.

The court determined Law properly disaffiliated himself from the Republican Party and ordered the board to take action.

Law will face incumbent Mayor Doug Franklin, a Democrat, in the Nov. 5 general election. Early voting starts Oct. 8 while military and overseas voting began Friday.

Regarding the court ruling, Law said, “It’s nothing we didn’t expect. It’s clear in the ruling by the Supreme Court (that) they agreed with our arguments.”

The elections board initially certified Law as an independent July 2, but after an Aug. 12 hearing — at the request of Daniel Letson, a Warren attorney — the board voted 3-1 to remove him, determining Law had not disaffiliated himself from the Republican Party.

The court ruled Monday that Law didn’t have to give a “compelling reason for disaffiliating as long as his statement that he had done so was accurate and made in good faith.”

The board voted 3-0 at Friday’s special meeting to certify Law’s candidacy with Chairman Mark Alberini absent.

Diana Marchese, a board member who ran Friday’s meeting, said, “We did everything we felt was necessary and made the decision based on the evidence and not on politics at all. He’s back on the ballot.”

Law said he was confident he was going to win the court case.

“We never stopped campaigning,” he said. “We knew it was going to be a decisive win. I knew the law. It was clear they abused their discretion.”

Law resigned his seat April 13 from the county Republican Party Central Committee and changed his political affiliation on various Facebook pages from Republican to independent.

Law is a former county Republican Party chairman, serving from 2014 to 2017. He also ran for public office several times as a Republican, winning an Ohio House seat in 2004 and losing state representative races in 2006, 2012 and 2018, as well as the Warren mayoral race in 2003.

dskolnick@tribtoday.com

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