ERIE, Pa. - Seven Democrats and two Republicans running for mayor of Erie will be on the May 16 primary election ballot, according to petitions filed at Tuesday's deadline inside the Erie County Courthouse.

The deadline to file petitions was 4:30p.m.

Erie City Councilman Bob Merski and Erie County Council President Jay Breneman are the only two Democrats who currently hold political office. Their five primary election opponents include former Erie City Councilman Joe Schember, former Erie City Councilwoman Rubye Jenkins-Husband, Edinboro University professor Lisa Austin, former City of Erie police chief Steve Franklin, and Erie Playhouse Executive Director, Almi Clerkin.

A smaller Republican ticket features attorney John Persinger and Jon Whaley, a former aide to outgoing Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott, who is unable to run for re-election after reaching his three-term limit.

A third Republican, Al Zimmer, announced Monday he has dropped out of the mayoral race citing personal reasons.

The race for Erie City Council continued to grow as the deadline approached. Currently, 18 Democrats are on file at the County Clerk's office, according to Kim Alexander, Erie County election supervisor. They include incumbents Jim Winarski and current council president Casimir Kwitowski. Sixteen other challengers include:

  • Gary Grack
  • Adrian Ewing
  • John Reitinger
  • Freda Tepfer
  • Michael Keys
  • Mark Aleksandrowicz
  • Elizabeth (Liz) Allen
  • Jason Brendel
  • Kathleen Schaaf
  • Brad Ford
  • John Steiner
  • Patrick Duda
  • Michael Haas
  • Rob Mahrt
  • Kevin Pastewka
  • Kevin Otteni

Two Republicans, Dan Nick and William Roche, are also seeking at least two open council seats.

Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. is unable to run for re-election after reaching his term limit. Councilman Dave Brennan announce last week he will not seek re-election in 2017.

No changes in the race for Erie County Executive. Incumbent Democrat Kathy Dahlkemper will face challenger Joseph Curlett in the primary. Five Republicans have announced their bids for the seat, including Erie County Councilman Edward DiMattio, businessman Art Oligeri, businessman Brenton Davis, retired Erie County corrections officer Tom Loftus, and businessman Tim Sonney.

Final lists for other races, including Millcreek Township supervisor, are expected to be announced as soon as Wednesday, Alexander said.