WAPAKONETA — Incumbent mayors from Wapakoneta and St. Marys won re-election against write-in candidates calling for new directions for city governments.
“I want to say thank you to everybody who came out and voted,” Wapakoneta Mayor Tom Stinebaugh said Tuesday night as election results poured in. “I appreciate all the support from everybody. I know things are going in the right direction, but there are things that we can do better, and we will.”
St. Marys Mayor Pat McGowan echoed those sentiments.
“I appreciate the citizens of St. Marys backing me,” McGowan said. “We strive to make St. Marys a better place for the citizens, to give them the services they want and need. After working in business, this is a second career for me. … I like doing the mayor’s job. It’s a lot of fun. It keeps your mind fit, and it keeps your body fit.”
Stinebaugh earned 1,029 votes compared to 419 write-in ballots cast for Brandon Terrill. In St. Marys, McGowan earned 752 votes, with 132 ballots going toward a write-in candidate Aaron Myers.
Technically, final tallies for write-in candidates won’t be known until the Auglaize County Board of Elections is able to certify each ballot cast for the right names, but races can still be called for both incumbents since the certification process would only eliminate votes if write-in ballots are found with unqualified names.
“I’d like to congratulate Tom,” Terrill said. “I’m very satisfied with the results. I wanted to put a shake-up in local politics and open some eyes, and I think we did. I hope Tom does well in the next few years.”
Exit polling conducted in Wapakoneta revealed that Terrill had gained a few votes in his favor despite the uphill battle many write-in candidates face running against a well-known incumbent.
“I just think we need a change,” said Linda Carter, who voted for Terrill.
Other Terrill voters, such as Will Crawford, said he personally knew Terrill and decided to vote in his favor.
In comparison, Stinebaugh voters often spoke in favor of the status quo.
“I think he’s done a decent job,” Andy Carter said.
Pollworker Marlene Ballweg added, “I’ve known him for years. He’s doing a great job.”
Ballweg said she’s worked with him on the Dominion East Ohio project to lower gas rates. When she had any questions, he was easily accessible with a phone call.
Other voters spoke positively about Wapakoneta’s work in the past year and that the ongoing initiative to update street infrastructure has improved the city.
As for contested city council races in Auglaize County, Kenneth Koverman grabbed the St Marys’ 2nd ward council seat. Rodney Metz, Chad Dunlap and Terry Campbell took the three spots on Wapakoneta City Council, and Ross Kantner defeated James Neumeier for Wapakoneta 1st Ward Council seat.
Contested mayoral race winners include Timothy Detty in Buckland, Rick Walls in Cridersville, Robert Parker in New Bremen and Rodney Luma in Waynesfield.
Renewal fire levies cruised to easy wins in German Township, Noble Township, Union Township, Wayne Township, Cridersville and New Bremen. A replacement fire levy also easily passed in Duchouquet Township.