Lee Koogler said Tuesday he has pulled petitions to seek another four-year term as president of Hillsboro City Council. Koogler is entering the final year of his second term as council president. He also served as an at-large council member before being elected council president.
“If the citizens are kind enough to elect me one more time, I’ll look forward to serving,” said Koogler.
In addition to the council president, all seven city council spots will be up for election this year, as well as the city treasurer position. Those running as Republicans or Democrats are required to file petitions by Feb. 1. Koogler is a Republican. Those who seek a city of Hillsboro position as a non-partisan, independent candidate have until May 1 to file petitions for the November General Election.
If there are no contested races among Republican or Democratic candidates for office in the city of Hillsboro – in other words, if no more than one Republican or one Democrat files for a particular office – there will not be a primary election here, according to Steve Witham, election administrator with the Highland County Board of Elections.
But if even one race is contested in the city – for instance, if two Democrats filed for the same council ward – then all Democratic candidates for city offices would appear on a primary ballot, even if they are running uncontested. The same holds true on the GOP side. Witham said it does not appear there will be any statewide issues requiring a primary election, so if a primary is necessary, it will only be in the city of Hillsboro. A primary election would be held on May 2, if it is necessary.
Witham said that the only way local options or issues can appear on a primary ballot is if there is a contested race for a Hillsboro city office, since primaries do not have to be held solely for options or issues.
In November, along with the city of Hillsboro contests where the primary winners and any independent candidates will face off, there will be several additional non-partisan races on local ballots. Several non-partisan village council, school board and township trustee seats around the county will be decided by voters in November.
In Hillsboro, the petition for president of council requires 50 valid signatures, as do at-large council positions.
Those seeking election from council wards are required to submit 25 valid signatures from within their wards, although Witham said he is seeking guidance on a statute that appears to say that the number of petition signatures needed for the ward races would be based on the number of votes cast in the last governor’s race. If that standard is used, it would mean that the signature requirement would vary from ward to ward, in most cases requiring fewer than 25 signatures, said Witham.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.