And then there were three..candidates for mayor

Larry Clabaugh lost his bid to run for Ottumwa mayor at heated hearing at Ottumwa City Hall this afternoon./KTVO

The ballot for Ottumwa mayor got a little bit shorter Wednesday afternoon.

A three-person panel removed Larry Clabaugh from the ballot after deciding he wasn't a resident of Ottumwa.

The panel was convened after a citizen filed an objection to Clabaugh's candidacy.

The panel consisted of City Council member Skip Stevens, City Clerk Amanda Valent and Mayor Pro Tem Bob Myers.

At issue is whether Clabaugh lives at 2420 N. Court as he claimed on his candidate petition.

In a short but heated meeting, Clabaugh argued that that he sleeps at several places in Ottumwa and Mahaska County, including the address on Court Street.

However, that address isn't hooked up to city water, thus making it uninhabitable by city code.

An uninhabitable structure can't be claimed as a legal residence.

Clabaugh and the city have an ongoing legal struggle over Clabaugh's plans for the North Court property.

The panel's decision leaves incumbent Tom Lazio and challengers Robert LaPoint and Russell Weeks on the ballot.

The primary election is scheduled for October 10. The top two vote-getters will be on the general election ballot in November.

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