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Here’s why Mayor Curry won’t be on the primary ballot, and how he feels about Republican candidates Hiester and Givler

By Dan Miller, danmiller@pressandjournal.com
Posted 3/8/17

Middletown Mayor James H. Curry III still isn’t saying if he will run again, but in a video posted on his Facebook page on March 8 Curry explained why he is not on the May 16 primary …

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Here’s why Mayor Curry won’t be on the primary ballot, and how he feels about Republican candidates Hiester and Givler

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Middletown Mayor James H. Curry III still isn’t saying if he will run again, but in a video posted on his Facebook page on March 8 Curry explained why he is not on the May 16 primary ballot.

Curry, who was elected mayor as a Democrat in 2013, said in the video that he had switched his party affiliation from Democrat to “non-affiliated.”

Since he was no longer registered either Democrat or Republican, Curry said that the only way he could get on the primary ballot was if someone else — who is registered as a Democrat or Republican — circulated nomination petitions on his behalf.

That would have gotten Curry on the primary ballot as either a Democrat or Republican, even though the mayor himself is now registered as non-affiliated.

However, Curry said “I am not willing” to have someone else circulate the petitions for him — making it “a physical impossibility” for him to be on the May 16 ballot.

Curry did not respond to several requests from the Press & Journal for comment.

Curry still has the option of circulating nomination papers to appear on the Nov. 7 general election ballot as an independent or a third-party candidate. Candidates can begin circulating those papers starting today.

The papers must be filed by Aug. 1 in order for the candidate to be on the Nov. 7 ballot, said Gerald Feaser, director of the county office of Elections and Voter Registration.

As for what the mayor plans to do, he is still keeping us in suspense — and he may continue to do so for some time.

“I’m not announcing candidacy,” Curry said in the Facebook video. “There is still a lot to think about, and there is plenty of time to do that. The May 2017 (primary) election will be for deciding which of the two Republican candidates will move forward, and then we will continue onto November. This is a long, long election season and we will see how it plays out. We will see what happens.”

The two Republicans who are on the primary ballot for Middletown mayor are Robert Givler, whom Curry defeated in the 2013 election for mayor; and recently retired Middletown Police Department Detective Richard Hiester.

“I was hoping that if I chose not to run someone would step up with a very clear vision of what they wanted for the town, and what policies and efforts they would put forth to better Middletown,” Curry said in a reference to the two announced Republican candidates. “To date I’m not entirely pleased with the options.”

Curry in the video also talked about his own internal political struggle that led him to change his longtime affiliation from being a Democrat, to non-affiliated.

Despite being a Democrat, Curry has been a highly public and outspoken supporter of Donald Trump for president.

Nevertheless, switching his party affiliation “was a very tough decision to make. I’ve been a registered Democrat since I was 18,” said Curry, who is now 32. “Clearly over the last 18 months you are well aware that I don’t agree with the Democrats on everything and I frankly don’t agree with the Republicans on everything, so in terms of my political identity I thought that having no affiliation was the way to go.”

No longer being affiliated with either of the two major parties also “gives me plenty of time to decide what I want to do here in Middletown” with regards to the 2017 election, Curry said.