Grove City Council will see only one new face next year as the incumbents held on to their seats and newcomer Laura Lanese took the open at-large seat in the Tuesday, Nov. 5 election.
With all seven voting precincts reporting, unofficial, final results from the Franklin County Board of Election reported Grove City Council President Ted Berry defeating challenger Gary Haughn for the Ward 1 council seat by a vote of 600 to 561.
This is the third time Berry, 44, council president for the past six years, has been elected to council.
“I’m just very, very pleased the residents of Grove City have entrusted me to serve another four years,” he said. “It was a hard fought campaign. ... Now we got to sit down and do the business of the city.”
Haughn, 61, a retired American Electric Power lineman and son of former mayor and city council president George Haughn, was seeking public office for the first time.
With all eight precincts reporting, Councilman Steve Bennett won election to the Ward 3 seat by 538 to 443 votes, defeating challenger Sam Clark, according to the elections board.
Bennett, 59, currently serves on council as an at-large representative. He chose to seek the Ward 3 seat rather than re-election to his at-large seat this fall after current Ward 3 Councilwoman Melissa Albright announced she would not seek re-election.
“I’m delighted to be back in a position to help the city,” Bennett said. “We got a lot of work ahead of us.”
His first tenure on council lasted from 1995 to 2001, and his second began four years ago.
This is the second time Clark, 27, the marketing and social media manager for the International Collision Repair Center in Columbus, lost a bid for council. He originally sought a council seat in 2007 but lost to Gregory N. Grinch.
With all 28 precincts reporting for the at-large seat, Lanese defeated Roby Schottke by 2,557 votes to 1,351, according to unofficial results from the board of elections.
Both were first time candidates, seeking the at-large seat left open by Bennett’s campaign for Ward 3.
Lanese, 51, has lived in Grove City for 14 years. A former member of the Ohio Air National Guard and the judge advocate general unit with the United States Army Reserve, she has worked as a United States Department of Justice Department staff attorney in Washington, D.C. and co-written three books.
Schottke, 65, is a 23-year resident and former executive director, teacher and principal with South-Western City Schools.