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Local News

Two Republicans, one Democrat remain in race to replace Landis

| February 14, 2022

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Feb. 14, 2022) – Lawrence Township Trustee Matt Ritterbeck is out of the running to replace outgoing Tuscarawas County Commissioner Al Landis.

County Board of Elections Director Gail Garbrandt says Ritterbeck was disqualified during certification Monday because of errors with his petition.

“He had filed a form 10Y, which isn’t applicable for him because he is not an elected official that is elected in a partisan race because a township trustee is a non-partisan position,” she says. “And then he didn’t have enough valid signatures because his voting record showed that he voted in the 2020 primary as a Democrat, and all of the signatures on his petition were Republicans and Independents.” 

None of the other local candidates had their petitions rejected, although Garbrandt says there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the upcoming election with the boundaries of the state’s Congressional districts still up in the air.

“We’re still moving ahead and preparing what we can for the election because there’s a great chance the election will go forward on the 3rd [of May]. The president of the Senate, Matt Huffman, has said something about either two primaries or moving the election to August. We just really don’t know what’s going to happen at this point.”

Ritterbeck was one of three Republicans who filed to run for Landis’ seat in the primary. The other two – Sally Storad and Kristen Zemis – were certified to the ballot. The winner of that race will face the lone Democratic candidate, Mineral City Mayor Laurie Green, in November. Voters will also be selecting someone to replace Commissioner Kerry Metzger, who stepped in to fill Joe Sciarretti’s seat when he resigned last year to take a job in the private sector. The candidates in that race are Republican Greg Ress and Democrat Sam Hitchcock.

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