IRONTON — Sam Cramblit, a candidate for Ironton mayor in the Nov. 5 general election, said Mayor Katrina Keith tried to keep him from running against her.

Keith asked the Lawrence County Board of Elections to keep Cramblit’s name off the ballot, saying he hadn’t lived in Ironton long enough to be a qualified candidate under the city charter.

He denied the mayor’s claims, saying he has lived in Ironton all his life. Cramblit, 28, said he did vote in Athens when he was a student at Ohio University. He said he graduated with a degree in political science in 2015.

“I think it was a dirty tactic,” Cramblit said. “I traveled out of town for work. I never changed my address since the time I was 16.”

The board said Keith filed the complaint too late to keep the name off the ballot. Early voting started earlier this week and Cramblit’s name is on the ballot as a candidate for Ironton mayor. Keith is seeking her second four-year term as mayor, while Cramblit is seeking his first.

Under the Ironton City Charter, a candidate has to be a resident for at least five years prior to running for office, according to Mack Anderson, Ironton’s city solicitor.

In an inquiry filed with the board, Keith claimed Cramblit didn’t register to vote until 2016 in Ironton. She said he voted in elections in Athens County in 2014.

The board of election has taken no formal action on Keith’s inquiry. The next regular meeting is set for noon Oct. 22.

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