COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is expected to consider whether to allow a Garfield Heights state legislator to appear on the Nov. 8 ballot, after one of her would-be opponents filed a challenge to her candidacy.
At its Monday meeting, the county elections board will decide whether to certify state Rep.
Shayla Davis as an independent candidate for the upcoming election. As part of that process, it is expected to consider a complaint filed by Shalira Taylor, a Republican who is challenging Davis’s eligibility, given her longtime history as as Democrat. The elections board has two
Democrats and two Republicans, with Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose casting any tiebreaking vote.
Davis and Taylor, as well as Democrat Darnell Brewer, all are running for Ohio’s heavily Democratic 18th House District, which includes several EastSide Cleveland neighborhoods, as well as Garfield Heights and Maple Heights Davis, who was appointed as a Democrat to a vacant seat earlier in February, is trying to switch her party affiliation to a political independent so she can remain in the state legislature
next year. She made the decision to do so in June, after the deadline had passed for her to file to run in the Democratic primary.
Davis had not planned to remain in office past this year. But she has said bills the Republican-dominated House passed before it broke for its summer recess motivated her to try to run for election. She also made the decision around the time that a prominent Democrat, Sandra Williams, decided to drop out of the 18th House District race and quit the state Senate to take a lobbying job.
Ohio law is fairly lax when it comes to allowing political candidates to drop their party affiliations, although a federal court decision from the mid2000s sets some limitations, including barring people from running for elected central committee positions with a political party at the same time they seek to run for public office as an independent.
In her Aug. 10 complaint, Taylor accused Davis of trying to circumvent filing rules for partisan political candidates. She pointed out Davis voted in the Democratic primary on May 3, when Davis ran and lost a race for a Garfield Heights seat on the Cuyahoga County Democratic
Party’s central committee. “This is clearly a Democrat political move to run [two] Democrats against one Republican in the November
general election,” Taylor wrote.
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