New Philadelphia, Ohio - The Tuscarawas County Democratic Party is getting behind two candidates vying to become the future mayors of Dennison and Uhrichsville in the May 7th primary.
Party Chairwoman Gail Garbrandt says their central and executive committees met on April 9th and voted to endorse Mark Haney in the Uhrichsville mayor’s race and Tim Still in Dennison’s. She says the members selected the two men because they felt they best represented the values and principles of the party - and also because their opponents didn’t come to the meeting.
"We issued the press release to let any Democratic candidates who were in good standing with the party know that it was going to be an endorsement meeting and that they could come to the meeting and they could request endorsement if they were on the May 7th ballot," she says.
Garbrandt says Haney and Dorland are both great candidates who are deeply invested in their communities.
"Mark Haney has a young family. He’s been on council and is currently president of Uhricsville City Council, and he did run four years ago and lost by I think 30 votes but it was a three-way race, and those are difficult to win," she says. "Then, in the case of the Dennison race, Tim Still has been on council and in the community and also was mayor.
Both candidates are hoping to unseat the incumbent mayor in their respective towns. Haney is going back up against Rick Dorland, while Still is hoping to reclaim the mayor’s office from Jeff Dryden. Garbrandt the party does not typically endorse candidates in primary elections. She says they made an exception this time because whoever wins these races will run unopposed in November.
"In this case, they decided they wanted to endorse because there’s no Republican who has filed. So what that means is the race will be decided May 7th," she says. "The candidates will still be on the ballot in November, but it will just be kind of a formality."
Along with the endorsement, Haney and Still each received a $500 check from the party to help with campaign expenses.
STACEY CARMANY, TUSCO TV