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Government and Politics

Kevin Coughlin threatens to sue Summit elections board over whether he's nonpartisan or not
Summit board blocks his run for Stow court clerk

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Courtesy of Coughlin campaign site
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Former state Sen. Kevin Coughlin is preparing to take the Summit County Board of Elections to court, saying it came up with a bogus reason to block his run for Stow Municipal clerk of courts. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the fight over the difference between an independent and a nonpartisan.

LISTEN: Coughlin's fight with the Summit elections board

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Kevin Coughlin ran for and won races for the Ohio House and Senate as a family-values Republican, and considered a run for his party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate.

But his campaign for Stow Municipal Clerk of Courts was set up as a nonpartisan challenger to both incumbent Democrat Diana Colavecchio and Republican Frank Larson.

The two Democrats and two Republicans who make of the Summit County Board of Elections put a stop to those plans Monday, when they declared Coughlin isn’t nonpartisan enough. Coughlin says they relied on faulty reasoning.

“ Everybody knows I’m a Republican.  But I have the freedom under Ohio law to run for clerk of court as a nonpartisan candidate without giving up my Republican affiiliation. What they tried to say today is I don’t pass that nonaffiliation standard. The problem is that standard doesn’t exist for clerk of court. ... And so we believe  they simply disregarded that law and made a political decision.”

Coughlin says Republicans joined Democrats in trying to block his candidacy because both fear he’ll win. Board of elections members could not be reached for comment.

Coughlin has had repeated run-ins Alex Arshinkoff, trying to oust him as chairman of the Summit County Republican Party.


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