PIQUA — Cindy Pearson of Piqua will no longer be running for the 2nd ward seat for the Piqua City Commission during the Nov. 3 election. Bill Vogt, the current commissioner occupying that seat, will appear on the ballot as a write-in candidate.
Pearson explained in an interview that there was much confusion surrounding the process of filling out and filing a petition to run as a candidate. One of the particular points of confusion was the fact that the Miami County Board of Elections had redistricted the boundary for Ward 3 in Piqua approximately three years ago.
The Miami County Board of Elections office originally told Pearson that she was a resident of Ward 3. Pearson later found out that the Board of Elections office had been incorrect.
Pearson’s petition then failed to get approval after she collected too many signatures from Ward 1.
“I thought, well, surely the folks out on Hemm Road and Manier, the folks that live on Brook, the folks that live out on the perimeters and west of Gordon Street would be in Ward 2,” Pearson said. “Well, I was wrong.”
There were approximately 12 signatures from Ward 1.
There were also approximately four or five other names on Pearson’s petition that had been printed and not signed. Those were “immediately tossed out,” Pearson said.
“I had no idea that people couldn’t print,” Pearson said.
After her petition to be on the Nov. 3 ballot failed, Pearson was told that her only option would be that the City Commission could appoint her to the Ward 2 seat if no one else ran.
“I can do one or the other,” Pearson said. “Even though it was rejected, you cannot be a write-in.”
Pearson is encouraging the Miami County Board of Elections office to provide a packet of information for anyone who wants to run for public office to help avoid too many situations like this in the future. Pearson also stated that the maps provided on the website were not up-to-date, but were actually from 2013.
“I felt like I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing,” Pearson said. “And it doesn’t hurt to have someone help you along the way, be it someone who’s already been a candidate, someone who’s currently in a position … that can help you understand the process.”
Pearson’s rejected petition will not be stopping her from staying involved in Piqua and contributing to the community.
“Where do I stand? I stand on the sideline, and I am a cheerleader,” Pearson said. “And being a cheerleader is one thing I love to be, and it won’t prevent me from doing the things that I love to do.”
Pearson plans on continuing to coordinate the Bethany Center walk/run event and the Wounded Warrior walk/run event, the latter of which is coming in November. Pearson is also still involved in the Piqua Planning Commission.
“I’m very sorry that it all happened,” Pearson said about her petition getting rejected. “I think it was a great opportunity missed.”
Pearson still looked on the positive side of what happened, saying that this experience taught her how petitioning to be a candidate really works. Pearson encourages anyone else who is considering running for public office to get informed.
Candidates running for the Piqua City Commission who will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot include:
- John Martin, running for 1st Ward seat
- Nicholas Alexander, running for 1st Ward seat
- Gary Michael Koenig, running for 5th Ward seat and mayor
- Kathryn “Kazy” Hinds, running for 5th Ward seat and mayor
- Bill Vogt, write-in candidate
There will also be two candidates running for the Piqua Board of Education, including Clint Bostick and Frank J. Patrizio.
Reach Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall