Two Fort Wayne City Council candidates withdrew their names before Friday’s noon deadline, finalizing the ballot for this year’s municipal primary elections.

One, Richard Lyons, had filed to challenge incumbent Councilman Russ Jehl for the city’s 2nd District in the Republican primary.

However, Allen County Republican Party Chair Steve Shine challenged Lyons’ qualifications Monday and said the candidate hadn’t voted in two prior GOP primaries as required by state law.

Because of Lyons’ withdrawal, a candidate challenge meeting scheduled for Thursday was canceled as no other candidates have had their eligibility called into question.

The second withdrawal came from Nicky Clarke, who had filed for the GOP primary in District 4, the seat councilman and Republican mayoral hopeful Jason Arp holds until the end of this year. Clarke previously ran for Aboite Township trustee in last year’s Republican primary but lost to Kimberly Mills.

Clarke’s withdrawal leaves Joe Townsend and Scott Myers as the only Republican candidates in the District 4 race. The winner of that contest will face one of two Democratic candidates – Bob Behr or Patti Hays – in the general election.

Amy Scrogham, director of elections for the Allen County Election Board, also confirmed that the board decided at its Friday meeting to not hold primary contests in New Haven, Grabill or Woodburn. None of the municipalities had contested races in the primary.

Shine requested the change this week and said his proposal was made out of “respect for the taxpayer.”

Fort Wayne and Leo-Cedarville will now be the only municipalities in Allen County that will hold primaries May 2.

Any ballot vacancies left after the primaries can still be filled by local parties until July 3.

This web story has been corrected to remove an inaccuracy.

Former Statehouse and General Assignment Reporter

Reporter Brett Stover covered the Indiana Statehouse and general assignments for The Journal Gazette through May 2023.