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There shall be a Mayor of the City who shall be elected by a partisan ballot at a general municipal election for a term of four (4) years. Each candidate for Mayor shall be nominated at a partisan primary election held in odd numbered years in accordance with the laws of Ohio, except that a person desiring to become a candidate for the office of Mayor as an independent candidate shall file a valid and sufficient nominating petition in accordance with the laws of Ohio. The Mayor shall assume office on the first (1st) day of January of the year following his or her election, subject to being qualified. Except in the case of death, resignation, recall, removal or forfeiture of office of the Mayor, the Mayor shall hold office until his or her successor is elected and qualified.