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Published: Wednesday, 4/30/2003

Name stays but votes won't count

FINDLAY - Despite his withdrawal from the Findlay mayor's race, John Stozich's name will remain on next week's primary ballot, but votes for him will not count, Hancock County elections officials decided yesterday.

Elections Director Lori Miller said board members didn't think they had enough time before the Tuesday election to reprint an estimated 12,000 ballots. The board, which held an emergency meeting yesterday, based its decision on an advisory from the Ohio secretary of state's office.

Mr. Stozich, 75, who has been Findlay's mayor since 1996, ended his re-election campaign Monday, citing poor health.

“Unfortunately, there's no way we can remove his name from the ballot,” she said.

Votes cast for Mr. Stozich will be disregarded. Signs will be posted at polling places, and notices will be mailed to absentee voters. However, absentee voters who have already cast their ballots for Mr. Stozich “are out of luck,” Ms. Miller said.

The mayor's withdrawal leaves four Republican candidates for mayor: Tony Iriti, Robert Kuhlman, James Knott, and Maile Doyle. Two Democrats, Gerald Wade and Kevin Crook, are running for mayor.

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