LORAIN — Dan Ramos suspended his campaign for Lorain’s mayor Friday, citing a process that turned into a “circus.”
After an obscure law made five Democratic candidates ineligible to appear on the November ballot to be considered for mayor, Ramos was the last candidate standing before two others tossed their hat in the ring.
Ramos said in a statement that the Lorain Democratic Party failed to make the process public, waited too long to determine ineligibility and that it “brought out the worst in many of us.”
After candidates were aware that they would not be able to run for the mayoral seat, “accusations of ‘good old boy’ control, and rigged conspiracy theories abounded,” he said.
Ramos told The Chronicle-Telegram that he announced his run for mayor because he wanted to serve, but that the accusations will make it hard for any new mayor to do their job.
For that reason, Ramos said he didn’t want to run if he wouldn’t be able to govern as mayor due to the accusations.
The selection process for the interim mayor by the Lorain City Democratic Central Committee on Sunday will determine who will fulfill the rest of former Mayor Chase Ritenauer’s term. Ramos said he would not attend it and will suspend all campaign activity.
Ramos said that he is not running for any political seat, and that he’s a private citizen.
“At this point, I’m not planning on resuming any campaign,” he said.
The same panel will decide whose name will replace Ritenauer on the November ballot as he won in the May primary. After the five candidates were rule ineligible, two others — attorney Jack Bradley and former UAW leader Jerry Donovan — announced they would seek to be on the ballot.
Donovan doesn’t actually want to be mayor, he said. Rather, he would take the seat, resign and let the appointment process start again without the ineligibility issues that arose and knocked his daughter, Councilwoman at-large Mary Donovan Springowski, out of the running because she appeared on the primary ballot for her Council seat.
“This is not a popularity contest, and we are not choosing a Homecoming Court,” Ramos said. “We are choosing a mayor. This process simply has not been conducted with the gravity the situation requires.”
Ramos advised the party to not vote right away, but instead have a discussion Sunday and determine the candidate that “everyone can agree on.” He said the Democratic Party should come out in one voice and support whoever that candidate is.
“A divided party will make it harder to win, and harder to govern if we do,” he said.
As for what happens next, Ramos said he doesn’t know what the outcome will be. He said he wants to see his city do well.
“I hope the Democratic Party and selection committee takes a good, hard look at this,” he said.
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