The two open seats on the Liberty Township Board of Trustees have been filled as incumbent and current board Chairwoman Shyra Eichhorn has been reelected to another term. Joining her on the board will be Scott Donaldson, who defeated incumbent Mike Gemperline as well as challengers Nico Franano and Melanie Farkas.
Eichhorn was easily the leading vote receiver, pulling 4,396 of the total votes cast. Donaldson received 2,867 votes, narrowly edging out Farkas by just 60 votes. Franano and Gemperline received 2,292 and 2,303 votes, respectively.
For Eichhorn, the reelection will mark her third term as a trustee in Liberty Township.
Donaldson called his election “surreal,” saying that everybody worked really hard on his “old school campaign.”
“We weren’t sure if this was going to be the result, but it was, and I am very grateful to everyone who voted and supported me,” he told The Gazette. “I’m also very appreciative and humbled by the other candidates who ran. I think everyone ran a really good campaign.”
Donaldson admitted he didn’t have reasonable expectations of winning the election heading into the campaign, figuring he wouldn’t be at the bottom but would still ultimately be conceding to multiple candidates.
“When I received their recession calls on Tuesday, it was truly very surprising to me. I didn’t think I would do as well as I did,” he said.
Donaldson estimated he spent around $3,000 on his campaign, making him “massively outspent” by other candidates in their campaigns.
“When they sent out all of the color leaflets and I sent out a hand-signed letter in an envelope and bought some signs and Facebook ads … you never know what’s going to work anymore,” he said. “I had an opponent who ran tv ads, which is still shocking to me. You just never know what is going to hit.”
Donaldson said he believes “positive campaigning” and “speaking out against the negative mailers and campaigning” resonated with township residents.
He added, “Frankly, with the fire and EMS debacle of the past, and also with the controversy with the POD (18), people were just really tired of the fighting and divisiveness. And I think from the follow-up calls I received from the letters I sent out, the primary issues are taxes, development and financial matters. I think enough people were concerned that they wanted someone they felt was a financially strong candidate, and that’s who they wanted in office.”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.