Two Drop from November Ballot

The choices for District 6 offices in Fairfield County will be significantly leaner come November after a pair of candidates saw their names disappear from the ballot last week.

Thomas Armstrong, who had been seeking to replace Marchella Pauling on the School Board of Trustees, was informed by the Voter Registration and Elections Office Thursday that all of the signatures on his petition did not pan out. Armstrong submitted 128 signatures in his bid to gain access to the ballot. Although he needed only 94 to qualify, 26 of his signatures were from voters not living in District 6, and 18 signatures were not registered voters. Six signatures were from voters listed as ‘inactive,’ and two did not match those of the registered voters. In the end, Armstrong only produced 69 valid signatures on his petition.

“I am disappointed, and relieved at the same time,” Armstrong, a vocal critic of the Board and regular attendee of Board meetings, said.

Armstrong said he would consider running as a write-in candidate, but admitted such an endeavor would be a challenge.

“If I can get enough help and have some meetings in the community to educate the public on how to choose ‘write-in’ on the ballot, I may do so,” Armstrong said. “But it’s a big challenge. You have to campaign harder.”

Armstrong said he hoped to reach a decision on his political future this week.

As Pauling is not seeking another term on the School Board, only William Frick remains on the ballot for the District 6 seat this fall.

Incumbent County Council member Mary Lynn Kinley, meanwhile, suddenly finds herself unopposed in the November general election after John McMeekin unexpectedly withdrew his name from contention Friday afternoon.

McMeekin offered no details on his decision, but issued the following statement:

“I appreciate the encouragement and support friends have offered me to seek political office, but I have withdrawn my name as a candidate,” McMeekin said in an e-mail to The Voice. “I wish to express my sincere thanks to everyone who offered their support, help, and friendship, and I wish every citizen of Fairfield County my very best.”