As the city of Powell faces some challenges ahead, such as traffic, the maintaining of its infrastructure, and its relationship with Liberty Township, Tuesday’s election was critical in identifying who the Powell community wanted to lead it forward in addressing those challenges.
Three seats were open on Powell’s City Council, including two in which incumbents Jon Bennehoof and Daniel Swartwout were up for re-election. Current Councilman Brendan Newcomb elected not to run for another term. The Powell community has spoken, and its collective voice largely reflected support for the current direction of the city.
Nearly 7,300 total votes were cast, and both Bennehoof and Swartwout were among the top three in votes received. Swartwout received the second-highest vote total with 1,587 ballots, or 21.83 percent, including his name.
“I am exceedingly grateful for the continued support from the people of Powell,” Swartwout said. “I ran a positive campaign that highlighted my track record, and to have the support of people in Powell for another term, it’s something I’m very grateful for. To continue working for the people, to continue making Powell a great place to call home.”
Swartwout said getting that support from the community “sends the message that what we are doing is something they approve of and want to continue.”
Bennehoof finished third in the voting, receiving 1,176 votes. He edged out newcomer Nicole Scott, who received 1,165 votes, by just 11 votes.
In a Facebook post following the unofficial election results, Scott had not yet conceded the election, stating, “Ohio law requires an automatic recall to recount, and we will wait until all provision votes are counted and election results are finalized.”
While the citizens of Powell showed their support of current council members, it was a newcomer in Heather Karr whose name was included on the most ballots.
Karr led all candidates with 1,681 total votes cast in her favor, making up more than 23 percent of the vote.
“My heart is so full of gratitude for every person who made this win possible,” Karr posted on her Facebook page. “Thank you for every vote, volunteer shift, donation, and word of encouragement over the last few months — it made all the difference.”
She added, “We ran a positive campaign that addressed the issues facing our wonderful city. Now, it’s time to get to work! Let’s restore collaboration with Liberty Township, address traffic congestion, and keep Powell healthy & safe!”
Swartwout congratulated Karr on an “outstanding campaign” and said he was “very much looking forward to working with her for the residents of Powell.”
The Delaware County Board of Elections will count provisional ballots on Nov. 25 and certify the count Nov. 26.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.