Husted should approve Cook for the ballot

Trumbull County Board of Elections member Ken Kubala chose not to take our suggestion and recuse himself from voting on a matter involving the political candidate who hopes to oppose Kubala’s longtime friend and supporter Trumbull County Commissioner Dan Polivka.

Now the issue of whether or not Democratic candidate David Cook should appear on the March 15 primary election ballot is deadlocked along party lines, and is facing a tie-breaking decision by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. Democrats Kubala and Mark Alberini voted to disallow Cook’s candidacy, while Republicans Kathi Creed and Ron Knight voted to accept Cook’s protest.

Kubala made the motion last week to deny Cook’s certification based on a simple question of penmanship surrounding the number of signatures on one of the pages of Cook’s petition. While there were 21 signatures on one page of Cook’s petition, his handwriting makes it appear that he listed the number of signatures as 20. During his appeal hearing Monday, Cook testified under oath that he wrote 21 on the page, but that it was not legible because of his arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.

We urged Kubala to recuse himself from the vote because of his well-known alliance with Polivka, who also serves as the Trumbull County Democratic Party Chairman. Kubala refused on Monday, however, and again voted to disallow Cook’s candidacy in the Democratic primary.

Now we urge Husted to make the right decision and vote in favor of allowing Cook to appear on the ballot, thereby allowing the voters to decide this matter at the polls. It is, after all, the taxpayers of Trumbull County who should decide which of the two candidates should receive the Democratic nomination.