Four incumbents were reelected to Washington Court House City Council at Tuesday’s general election — defeating several write-in candidates who also had a good showing.
Stephen Shiltz was the leading vote-getter with 887, followed by Dale Lynch with 780, Ted Hawk with 748, and Caleb Johnson with 679, according to unofficial results from the Fayette County Board of Elections.
It was a unique race with seven write-in candidates who also filed. Of the write-ins, Kenny Upthegrove was the leading vote-getter with 435, closely followed by Eric Gerber with 420. John McDonnell tallied 292 votes, Tony Tipton had 288, Benjamin Snodgrass had 116, Sam Gebhardt had 50, and Timothy Leisure had 17.
Shiltz, Lynch, Hawk and Johnson will serve four-year terms beginning January 2022.
Shiltz thanked the voters for reelecting him to council.
“I will do my best to keep Washington Court House safe and secure,” he said. “My plans are to continue work with the branding of downtown and give a destination look and feel. I have plans for working on the parking downtown, and try to bring more business to the city.”
Johnson also thanked voters and talked a little about his plans.
“First and foremost, I would like to say thank you to the people of Washington Court House. Without their support, I would not be in the position I am today. Second, I would like to thank the write-in candidates and their supporters. The write-in candidates each brought forward a fresh perspective. I hope they—and all the other people living in our city—feel welcome coming to council meetings to express that perspective so that we can make this city better together. I understand that it might not be a perfect outcome for some, but I will continue to fight for everyone in Washington Court House. If people reading this ever have a question or need help with an issue in the city, please feel free to contact me directly on my cell phone at (740) 572-3257.”
Johnson added that he believes all the incumbents — himself included — would be wise to listen to the suggestions of the write-in candidates.
“Their platform was centered on three policies: participation in the Ohio Checkbook program, completion of the bike trail system in our county, and fostering relationships with technology companies. That platform is not much different from my own platform. Fighting for policies that promote transparency, offering more recreational opportunities by improving the park system, and promoting business growth in the city are all topics I talked about during this election cycle. As per the Record Herald’s previous election coverage, I detailed many accomplishments in these areas over the past four years, and I look forward to building on that success over the next four years.”