Former Oregon Councilman Michael Sheehy, who was recently picked to fill the 46th House District seat vacated by ex-State Rep. Matt Szollosi, said he will officially have his name removed from the November ballot for re-election to council next week.
Sheehy, a Democrat who had been on council since 1993, said a five member committee will then decide whether to find another candidate to be on the ballot.
This fall, all seven seats of council are up for grabs.
“A majority of five has to vote for one person, and that person would run for council in my stead,” Sheehy told The Press. “If they decide not to put someone up, then apparently, there would be just seven people running and there would be no competition.”
Sheehy said he has nothing to do with choosing a candidate to run in his place. Only the committee members can do so.
“I have no control over those committee members. I have no idea about the inner workings of the committee. I’m staying out of that game,” said Sheehy, a retired CSX railroad conductor. “They might listen to a suggestion I have, or they could make that decision on their own and have one of their own candidates.”
Sheehy, who has been on council for nine terms, will serve the 18 months remaining in Szollosi’s two year term. Sheehy said he will decide next year whether he wants to run for the seat in November 2014.
Incumbents on city council running for re-election include Jerry Peach, James Seaman, Dennis Walendzak and Terry Reeves. Candidates Kathy Pollauf, who briefly served on council in 2011 after former Councilman Clint Wasserman resigned to take a job in the Lucas County prosecutor’s office, and newcomer Tim Zale, a retired police officer, area also running. Marvin Dabish, who was recently sworn in by Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian to fill Sheehy’s seat on council, is also running.
Council President Tom Susor, who is challenging Seferian for mayor in November, and Councilman Sandy Bihn, who did not submit her petitions on time to the Lucas County board of elections last month, will not be on the ballot. Unless Sheehy’s committee chooses an eighth candidate, Dabish, Pollauf and Zale will be swept into office without any opposition.
“I would like to see the committee find an eighth candidate. I like all seven candidates who are running, but I know some other people in the community who I think would make remarkable candidates. If my committee can do it, I would like to see another candidate on the ballot.”
Democrat Bernie Quilter, Lucas County Clerk of Courts, is chairman of the five member committee, said Sheehy.
Although it has 81 days before the November election to decide, Sheehy expects the committee will know much sooner.
“It will probably be settled within the next couple of weeks,” he said.
Seferian, an independent, said he believes the committee will choose another candidate. If not, it would be the first time in several years that the Democrats did not have a four seat majority on council, he said.