ASHLAND -- There will be no primary election held in Ashland County on May 4.
"There were no issues filed for May, and due to the number of candidates who filed in the City of Ashland, no primary will be held," Ashland County Board of Elections Director Shannon Johnson said.
The deadline for candidates to file was 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3.
All candidates certified by the Ashland County Board of Elections at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8 will automatically advance to November's general election ballot.
The unofficial list of candidates in Ashland County includes:
Ashland City Mayor
Matt Miller, incumbent
Ashland City Council – 2nd Ward
Ashland City Council – 3rd Ward
Dennis Miller, incumbent
Ashland City Council – 4th Ward
Angela Woodward, incumbent
In November, two newcomers will face off in Ashland's second Ward, as the longtime Councilman Bob Valentine did not file for reelection.
Jason Chio and Heather Sample have filed petitions, each with hopes of representing the 2nd Ward.
On Thursday, Valentine explained that he'd lose his health insurance through the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) if he would have been re-elected to a new term in Jan. 2022. Even though council representatives are paid via a stipend and not considered city employees, Valentine said he'd be considered a "retire/rehire" by OPERS.
"Anybody that knows me knows I wouldn't go out without a fight, but I exercised every option I could, and I can't leave myself and my wife uninsured," Valentine said.
Valentine was first elected to Ashland City Council in 2005, and his first of four terms began in Jan. 2006.
"I'm going to miss it. I've had a great time taking care of the city," Valentine said.
In the third ward, newcomer Emily Huestis will challenge incumbent Dennis Miller.
Mayor Matt Miller and City Council's fourth ward representative, Angela Woodward are the only individuals who filed petitions for their respective positions.
“I have been encouraged to run for council by constituents, community members, and local leaders,” Woodward said in a Wednesday press release. “It has been an honor to take part in Ashland’s renewed energy and progress.”