The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Nov. 15, 2019

City voters choose Markward as mayor

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Things were a bit chaotic early on, with the first election totals distributed without the absentee votes, but the corrections were made quickly, and just one election result was changed. That was in the Venedocia Village Council race, where the absentee votes raised Marjorie Clement from the third highest vote-getter to the second highest, enough to earn her a seat on that village council.

Van Wert city and Pleasant Township voters mark their choices during voting Tuesday at the Van Wert County Board of Elections offices at 1362 E. Ervin Road in Van Wert. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

The Van Wert mayoral race wasn’t nearly as close as many thought it might be, with Republican City Councilman Kenneth Markward netting just over twice as many votes as his nearest rival — and more than both of the other two candidates together. Markward polled 1,436 votes to 717 votes for former mayor Don Farmer, who ran as an independent. Independent challenger Stephen “Joe” Jared received 152 votes to finish third.

The new mayor-elect said he was very grateful for his win, first thanking his wife, Marie, for all her support during the general election campaign. “She’s been very helpful in many ways during this whole process,” he noted.

He also thanked city residents who voted in the election.

“I’d like to thank everybody who chose to participate in this election, and especially those who used their vote to express their support in my candidacy,” Markward said. “It is extremely encouraging to see this level of support in a three-way race.”

The mayor-elect said he would now be working with Mayor Jerry Mazur and other city officials over the next two months to effect a smooth transition in the mayor’s position. Markward said he hopes to work on learning the day-to-day duties of the mayor’s office, while also getting to know the three new City Council members elected without opposition on Tuesday.

One big issue, the mayor-elect noted, was to ensure that city voters receive enough information that they can make an informed

Van Wert City Councilman Ken Markward was elected mayor on Tuesday. VW independent file photo

“You might say one goal on that particular issue is that, if a particular person chooses to vote ‘no’ I hope it’s for a reason that’s true,” Markward said, adding that he has heard a lot of erroneous information on the charter issue already.

In the only other city race, First Ward Councilman Jeff Agler, a Democrat, won re-election to that seat by a vote of 157-98 over independent challenger David Bashore.

In other county contested races, Kenneth Myers was elected Middle Point mayor 71-67, while Vernon Hobbs is Venedocia mayor by a vote of 24-14. Jeremy Ackom was elected Scott mayor by a vote of 14-7.

Phillip Eutsler and Marjorie Clement were elected to Venedocia Village Council over Barbara Good. Eutsler received 24 votes, Clement 23 votes, and Good 17 votes.

Bradley Berry and Jodi Berry were elected to two seats on Willshire Village Council. Bradley Berry received 57 votes, Jodi Berry received 51 votes, while Erica Pond finished third with 39 votes.

In a four-way race for two seats on Lincolnview Local Board of Education, incumbent Michelle Gorman, the top vote-getter was re-elected with 472 votes, while Bradley Coil had 437 votes to be elected to the second school board seat. Stuart Wyatt received 365 votes, while Kirk Berryman garnered 342 votes.

There were three contested races in Pleasant Township. Jay Gamble was elected to an expired term for township trustee that ends December 31, 2020, with 1,083 votes, while Stephen Mengerink had 916 votes and Robert Hargreave 392 votes.

In the election for a full Pleasant Township trustee’s term, Gary Ashbaugh was the winner with 1,396 votes, while Tyler C. Holdgreve received 904 votes. William Dowler was elected Union Township trustee with 101 votes to 87 votes for Dugan Runyon.

A three-way race for Pleasant Township fiscal officer went to incumbent Linda Hartman, who garnered 1,337 votes to 781 for Kelly Bartz and 313 for Troy Oechsle.

James M. Mox was elected Washington Township fiscal officer with 478 votes to 390 votes for Michael J. Swick.

All local issues were approved, except for a request to sell wine and mixed beverages by the package in the village of Willshire and a marijuana ordinance issue in Wren. The package sales issue was defeated 37-46, while the marijuana issue was narrowly rejected, 10-12.

POSTED: 11/05/19 at 11:02 pm. FILED UNDER: News