Party Squabble Pits Sheriff & County Commissioner Against Each Other

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A divisive fight is brewing for a spot on the state Democratic central committee after the Ohio Supreme Court today ordered Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott back on the primary ballot against Democratic Commissioner John O'Grady.

The Supreme Court unanimously overturned a decision by both the Franklin County Court of Appeals and Franklin County Board of Elections that had thrown Scott off the ballot.

The elections board had concluded that Scott lacked five valid signatures on his petitions.  Scott insisted they were valid and the Supreme Court agreed.

Franklin County Democratic Party Chairman Greg Haas is on the election board and had voted to remove Scott from the ballot.

He says the Supreme Court provides little guidance to an election board regarding petition signatures that do not seem to match.

Haas also says there could be a bitter intra-party squabble between now and the primary election on May 6th.

"This is not constructive and it's unfortunate," said Haas.  "It looked like common sense would prevail but grudges and negative energy have won."

Scott had originally filed to run against one-term incumbent John Gilligan, who dropped out of the race after O'Grady also announced his candidacy.

O'Grady is the son of former Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Pete O'Grady.