Galena will have a new mayor next year after residents voted for challenger Jill Love over incumbent Thomas W. Hopper.
According to the Delaware County Board of Elections’ unofficial results, Love received 211 votes (68%) and Hopper received 99 votes (32%).
“We did it, each and every one of you!” political newcomer Love said on her Facebook page. “I am beyond grateful for your trust and confidence. I am truly humbled and honored. Let’s do this! My door is always open to you.”
Long-time Galena resident Hopper lost despite receiving endorsements from past and present Galena staff and council members.
Incumbents Jason Hillyer and Todd D. Musacchio, who ran unopposed, were re-elected to Galena Village Council.
Other results from the eastern half of Delaware County:
Berkshire Township: Challenger Josh Varble defeated Trustee Bill Holtry by a 3-to-1 margin, 999 votes (76%) to 313 (24%).
“It’s been a long journey, both challenging and rewarding,” Varble said on his Facebook page Monday. “I’ve appreciated the opportunity to meet and speak with so many of you over the past few months, and hear your thoughts on the future of our area.
“Tomorrow is a day for us to move forward, building a community that reflects our values, desires, and commitment to our neighbors. We can cut through the red tape, and work collectively on our future in eastern Delaware County. We have the opportunity to balance our growth with the traits of Berkshire Township that we have come to know and love.”
The parks and recreation tax levy was comfortably defeated, with 909 votes against (64%) to 508 for (36%).
The bond issue for a public park was defeated by a 2-to-1 margin, 954 against (68%) to 453 for (32%).
Fiscal Officer Melody L. George was re-elected.
Berlin Township: The fire levy renewal passed by a 3-to-1 margin, 679 for (78%) to 193 against (22%).
Trustee Ronald Bullard and Fiscal Officer Claudia E. Smith were re-elected.
Big Walnut Local School District: In a close race, there may be two new members on the Board of Education: Stephen P. Fujii received 2,981 votes (37%), Sherri Dorsch received 2,601 votes (32%) and incumbent Andrew Wecker received 2,566 votes (31%).
“It is truly an honor to represent this community on the board, and I thank you all for having faith in my abilities and integrity,” Dorsch wrote on her Facebook page. “I also want to thank my family and friends and all of those strong Big Walnut Schools supporters who helped me during my campaign. Your willingness to share of your time, wisdom, and talents as well as your encouragement have been invaluable! I have been a passionate supporter of our wonderful school district for many years, and I pledge to always do my best for our community’s learners and all of those who provide the resources for our district to operate.
“A massive thank you to Andy Wecker for all that he has done for our community throughout his term on the board. I have no doubt that he will continue to give back to all of us in many ways. Our community is blessed to have him. Congratulations to Stephen Fujii, and I look forward to getting to know you as we work together to achieve greatness in Big Walnut!”
Fujii said on his Facebook page, “I want to thank those who have supported and trusted me with their votes. It is my intent to serve this post faithfully, to steward our shared resources responsibly, and to support opportunities for excellence for our students and community. I look forward to working with district residents and the administration to create and implement a plan for our educational future that aligns with who we are and where we, as a community, want to go.
“I also welcome the incredible opportunity to collaborate with my fellow board members as we work together to advance and elevate the students, teachers, staff and programs that make the Big Walnut School District so special.”
Liana Lee was re-elected to the board.
Brown Township: A roads tax levy renewal was approved by a vote of 352 for (71%) to 141 against (29%).
Three liquor options were approved by wide margins.
Columbus: The city’s boundaries extend up into Orange Township and share a border with Westerville. Mayor Andrew Ginther ran unopposed and was re-elected. In his emailed comments, he said, “Columbus, our best days are ahead of us, not behind us. And we can build that future together. I am so honored to serve as your mayor. It’s the best job in the best city in America. And I am excited to continue this work with you for the next four years.”
Genoa Township: Renee Vaughan defeated Larry King for trustee to succeed the outgoing Frank Dantonio. The tally was 5,087 (72%) for Vaughan, and King received 1,945 votes (28%).
“I want to thank my supporters, from the bottom of my heart, for coming out yesterday, in the cold and rain, to cast their vote for me,” Vaughan wrote on her Facebook page. “It is an awesome feeling to know that I have so many people supporting me in our township. I look forward to serving you at the township level for the next four years. I could not have done this without each and every one of you!”
A roads and bridges levy was approved in the township (not including Westerville), with 4,259 votes for (58%) and 3,143 against (42%).
Fiscal Officer Patrick M. Myers was re-elected.
Harlem Township: Incumbent Trustee Jerry D. Paul defeated opponent Shane O’Farrell by a 4-to-1 margin, 739 votes (83%) to 148 (17%).
“Thank you Harlem Township residents for supporting me November 5, 2019,” Paul said in an email. “I truly appreciate the fact that our voters have a positive vision for our townships future. I pledge to continue to work in the best interest of our community and to uphold the integrity of this office. Thank you for giving me this honor.“
Fiscal Officer Julie DeBolt was re-elected.
Kingston Township: In the Trustee race, incumbent Dewey V. Akers received twice the number of votes as his challengers. Akers had 284 votes (56%), Jim Fedako had 119 (24%) and Nathan Hulick had 101 (20%).
Fiscal Officer Greg Roy was re-elected.
Oxford Township: A replacement tax levy for current expenses was approved by a vote of 138 for (74%) to 48 against (26%).
Trustee James H. Hatten and Fiscal Officer Joyce Leienberger were re-elected.
Porter Township: Trustee Bob Ryan and Fiscal Officer Mark Mazzon were re-elected.
Village of Sunbury: The Community Library levy renewal passed by a 2-to-1 margin, 3,915 for (70%) to 1,702 against (30%).
“From all your library staff, thank you,” the library’s Facebook page states. “Your support is invaluable! We are so grateful for our community and the relationships we have developed with you. We look forward to working with you to develop programs and services that continue to meet your needs!”
A proposed Charter, which would give provisions on how Sunbury would be governed once it becomes a city following the 2020 U.S. Census, passed by a 4-to-1 margin. The vote was 822 yes (82%) to 175 no (18%).
Mayor Tommy Hatfield and Councilman Timothy P. Gose were re-elected.
Trenton Township: Incumbent Trustee Mark B. Almendinger defeated challenger Kevin Kline by a margin of 298 (56%) to 237 (44%).
Fiscal Officer Cynthia Faye Walton was re-elected.
Note: The results are unofficial until provisional ballots are counted Nov. 25 and the official canvass is certified by the BOE on Nov. 26.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.