Bexley City Councilwoman Anne Lewis has announced she will appeal to the voters this November to a bid to keep her seat.
Lewis was appointed to the council in March 2012 when then-councilman Ben Kessler took over as mayor following the death of Mayor John Brennan. She is the first member of council to announce her intention to run this fall. Other council members whose terms will expire in January 2014 are Matt Lampke, Richard Sharp and Council President Rick Weber.
Resident Robert Kaynes Jr. announced in February that he will run in hopes of filling one of those seats. He is the only resident nonmember who has formally declared his intentions.
Because Lewis was appointed in the middle of Kessler's term, her position that will appear on the November ballot is for a two-year term as opposed to the typical four-year term.
"It's a little unique, and I felt like if anyone else was planning to run, they should know my intention and that it's for the seat I currently hold to fulfill the rest of my formal term," she said.
She was appointed to council from a group of nine applicants. Lewis, who has been involved in the community as the leader of the Bexley Celebrations Association and a member of Friends of the Drexel Theatre, the Bexley Education Foundation, the Bexley Public Library board of trustees and the Bexley Women's Club, received the vote of every council member except councilman Mark Masser, who gave his vote to a candidate he nominated.
Lewis said she remembers being asked during the application interviews if she would run to keep her seat once it went up for election.
"I said yes because I had always intended to run after my uncle Jeff McClelland left council and he had decided in 2010 not to run," she said.
Building stronger relationships with the schools and collaborating with the Bexley Chamber of Commerce are long-term goals Lewis said she'd like to begin working toward if she is elected. She said she'd also like to continue discussion on speed cameras and see a decision come to fruition.
Although Lewis, who will have served for 20 months come the November election, is unsure if she'll have any challengers for her seat, she said it's important to elect someone with experience to fulfill the short term.
"To go through a budget cycle and really understand the long-term issues that the city is facing and the history of how we got to where we are today -- that's really been a year in the making," she said. "The decisions that I'm making now are much more fully informed."
Lewis is a life-long Bexley resident who works as a scientific liaison with Merck & Co. Inc. She and her husband Tom, who have five children, live on South Stanwood Road.