Tight races, surprises mark election
One vote can make a difference.
In the closest vote Tuesday in Auglaize County, one vote separates incumbent Mayor William Rolston from his opponent, Marilyn Fleck, for Uniopolis mayor. Rolston garnered 44 votes, while Fleck collected 43.
In other contested races in eastern Auglaize County races, incumbent Cridersville Mayor Lorali Myers defeated challenger Tony Zuppardo, 335 to 264.
The two renewal levies in Cridersville also received voter support.
Incumbent Waynesfield Mayor Mike Ridenour survived a challenge from Kristina Hahn and Jeffrey Sandoe. Ridenour garnered 116 votes to Hahn's 108, while Sandoe received 78 votes.
Waynesfield Village Council will see two new members with William Motter receiving 137 votes, for the highest total of votes cast in the village, with Richard Libby receivng 108 votes. Incumbent Ronda Knox earned 97 votes, while Richard Hardin and James Caster tied with 79. Nicole Weekly received 45 votes.
For Waynesfield-Goshen Board of Education seats, incumbent Tom Brookhart paced the top three vote getters with 701, while Tadd Turner received 602. Mark Chiles, with 488, eclipsed Carolyn Bly with 391 and Brian Barrington with 371.
In a surprise on the western half of the county, St. Marys Mayor Greg Freewalt lost his long-time post to Patrick McGowan. McGowan received 1,197 votes to 1,136 cast for Freewalt, according to unofficial vote totals by the Auglaize County Board of Elections.
Robert Fitzgerald, Ronald Ginter and James Harris bested two others for St. Marys councilor-at-large seats.
Ronda Shelby and Brian Little are the new board members on the St. Marys City Schools Board of Education.
In Wapakoneta, no seat was contested.
Mayor Rodney Metz received 2,060 votes, while Steve Henderson received 1,939 as council president. Gail Walter received 1,862 votes as city auditor, while Barb Steinke grabbed 1,860 votes in her first election. Denny Fallere returns as city law director with 1,977 votes.
Councilor-at-large Tom Finkelmeier Jr. received the most votes for councilor-at-large with 1,403, followed by Dan Graf with 1,390 and Steve Walter with 1,327.
Jim Neumeier received 765 votes for 1st Ward councilor, Dan Lee 430 votes for 2nd Ward councilor, Bonnie Wurst 313 votes for 3rd Ward councilor and Chad Doll 430 votes for 4th Ward councilor.
Wapakoneta City Schools Board of Education members also ran unopposed. Ron Mertz captured the most votes with 3,569, with Patrick Gibson on his heels with 3,552, while Eric McKinnis garnered 3,160 votes. Brent Schwartz won his term set to expire Dec. 31, 2013 with 4,390 votes.
For additional coverage of the election see Wednesday's edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.