Saturday, August 10, 2019
By David Skolnick
Because of concerns with Federal Communications Commission rules, Ron Verb, a WKBN AM radio talk-show host, withdrew his candidacy for Austintown Township trustee.
Verb had previously said he had no intention of quitting his job at the radio station and could withdraw from the ballot if rules from the FCC became an issue.
In a Friday letter to the Mahoning County Board of Elections, Verb wrote he decided to quit the race after reviewing FCC guidelines.
“Upon further investigation of the Federal Communications Commission’s guidelines I, Ron Verb, wish to request my name be removed from the ballot,” he wrote in the letter.
That leaves four candidates for the position: ex-Youngstown Councilman Michael Rapovy; former county Commissioner David Eng-ler, an attorney; Poland Township police officer Steve Kent; and Bruce Shepas, who unsuccessfully ran for trustee in 2013 and 2015.
The board of elections is meeting Tuesday to certify candidates to the Nov. 5 ballot.
Verb filed nominating petitions for the job Tuesday, the day before the filing deadline.
The Vindicator reported Thursday that the “equal-time rule,” which requires radio and television broadcast stations to give the same amount of time to opposing candidates who request it, could play a role in Verb’s decision to quit the race.
Verb previously said he had the “blessing of the station” to run for the seat but that he had “to look into the regulations” to determine if he could be a candidate and on the air.