SALEM - Democrat city Councilman K. Bret Apple will switch to the president's chair in January since no Republicans or Independents stepped forward to challenge him on the Nov. 5 ballot.
Fellow city Councilman Rick Drummond, a Republican, withdrew from the race for President of Salem City Council in May and current Council President Mickey Cope Weaver chose not to run for re-election.
She had been elected as a Republican, but decided instead to seek a non-partisan seat on the Perry Township Board of Trustees this fall.
After Drummond's announcement, Columbiana County Republican Party Chairman David Johnson said he was seeking a replacement candidate to be selected by the Republican Central Committee to appear on the fall ballot.
Columbiana County Board of Elections Director Adam Booth had explained that since Drummond had been certified as the Republican candidate for the general election back in February, due to the lack of any contested races for the primary, the Republicans had the right to select a replacement candidate.
The deadline for picking a replacement came and went last month with no one named.
When contacted Monday, Johnson said he would have liked to have somebody run, but that's one of the difficulties he's been dealing with for years as chairman.
He approached a lot of people, but said it's difficult to get anyone to run for office. He looks for people who are qualified, who are interested and who will work to get elected.
"We're constantly urging people to get involved. It's what self-government's all about," Johnson said.
Apple was first appointed to serve two years of an unexpired term for Council-At-Large when former Councilman Justin Palmer resigned, then he was elected in 2009 to his own four-year term which expires Dec. 31.
An attorney, he also served the residents as a county court judge at Southwest Area Court in Lisbon from 1993 to 2001 and previously served as an assistant prosecutor under Columbiana County Prosecutor Robert Herron in the civil, juvenile and criminal divisions. He has 25 years experience in private practice.