LIMA — Despite Ned Bushong’s intentions to be considered on the November ballot, voters will have a single choice to make: Either vote for Greg Sneary, or don’t vote.
During Thursday’s meeting of the Allen County Board of Elections, the board rejected Ned Bushong’s petition to be filed as a write-in candidate for county commissioner due to a clerical error.
Board Director Kathy Meyer said Bushong failed to list a “proper term date” on his petition. Bushong’s papers list 2019 as the start of his term, and it did not include the month or day.
“I just did what they told me to do. There wasn’t much else I could do. We’re all just amateurs in this world. I think it’s fairly obvious they didn’t want an outsider in,” Bushong said.
When asked for clarification of “they,” Bushong didn’t give exact particulars, referring to the “old boy network” and “the deep state.”
“People either know what the deep state is, or they don’t know,” Bushong said.
Meyer said the board of elections gives write-in candidates instructions on how to file their petitions. Unlike other filings, write-in candidates do not require the submission of signatures, but the state of Ohio does ask that paperwork is certified to give the board reason to count write-in votes for a candidate.
Ohio is one of 33 states that require as much. Nine do not allow write-in candidates in any form, and eight allow voters to write in any name they wish.
Meyer said refusing petitions on grounds of clerical errors isn’t unheard of. Individuals inexperienced with the legalities of election law may make mistakes, which can dash a candidate’s campaign. Meyer said she’s seen it firsthand with a person running for school board, who had set up campaign signs and received a number of votes, but the board of elections didn’t count the votes because no paperwork was filed prior to the election.
Bushong said he had spent roughly $1,000 on his campaign before receiving the news. He had announced plans earlier in the week about setting up a space at the Allen County Fair to greet voters and lay out his platform.
“We have a lot of problems that need to be solved, and you can’t get the elected officials — the political class — to pay any attention. The only way to get anything solved is to be on the inside. If anyone is going to do anything about it, they have to run and win. Otherwise, nothing will be done,” Bushong said.
Bushong has held a number of rallies within the last year protesting against hikes in cable television prices by Spectrum. His actions spurred a number of private citizens to contact leadership of both the City of Lima and Allen County. Both responded that they had no legal responsibility in cable television prices as many utility companies work directly with the State of Ohio to set up service contracts.
Bushong’s goal was to convince local municipalities to form a municipal cable company and take control of Spectrum’s infrastructure through eminent domain laws.
The next race for an Allen County commissioner position will be in two years.
“I’ll keep banging away at it,” Bushong said. “In two more years, don’t be surprised they’ll find some trivial excuse to not make it then.”
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.