A Columbus School Board member and a former school board candidate are among the 8 finalists to fill a soon-to-be vacant seat on Columbus City Council.
Board member Ramona Reyes and former write-in candidate James Ragland, who is also a former state Democratic party central committee member, are among the finalists selected by the all-Democratic council. Also among the finalists is assistant city attorney Jaiza Page, who was asked by city officials to apply for the seat being vacated by Hearcel Craig. The other finalists, released late Friday in an e-mail to reporters, are as follows:
* Elizabeth C. Brown
* Stefanie Lynn Coe
* Brandyn McElroy
* Cheryl A. Penn
* Emmanuel V. Remy
Brown, the daughter of Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, is former interim director of the Ohio Democratic party and currently works for the city. Interviews of the finalists will be conducted in early January. The winner will be announced in a formal vote on January 12. The final choice will continue the long-standing practice of appointing council members to fill the remainder of the term of a vacant seat, thus giving the appointee the advantages of incumbency when she/he must go before the voters for re-election. It is a major reason why there are no Republicans holding any of the seven council seats.