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Homeless Ohio Man Enters Council Race

September 10, 2003

PAINESVILLE, Ohio (AP) _ A self-employed homeless man will face an eight-year incumbent at the Nov. 4 elections, despite his opponent’s concern over residency requirements for the city council seat.

The Lake County elections board voted 4-0 Tuesday to add Michael Padula’s name to the ballot, rejecting City Councilman William Horvath’s questions about Padula’s eligibility.

The city charter requires a council member to have lived in the ward for one year. The board agreed that Padula had established residency by living in a garage for 18 months. He now lives out of a 1985 Chevrolet van.

Padula, a self-employed carpenter, said he earned $2,500 last year, but a slow economy cut into his home-remodeling business.

The part-time council position pays $6,000 a year.

``This isn’t a stunt or trying to make the city of Painesville look bad,″ said Padula, who planned to campaign door-to-door. ``It’s more or less I was moved by some things that happened through city council and Mr. Horvath.″

Horvath did not plan to appeal the board’s decision.

Painesville is located about 30 miles northeast of Cleveland.

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