Six candidates vie for the three open spots on Grove City council this Election Day.
The Ward 1, Ward 3 and At-Large seats are all up for grabs on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Two incumbents defend against challengers in the ward races while two first-time candidates face seek the the At-Large seat.
Council President Ted Berry faces a challenge from Gary Haughn, the son of George Haughn, a council president in the 1950s who later served as mayor.
Berry, 44, is a 16-year resident of Grove City and has been council president for the past six years. Seeking his third term in office, is the director of business development for Ohio State University's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. He is founder of Grove City Tomorrow and a member of the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society, the Ohio Economic Development Association, Grove City Noon Lions Club, Franklin County Farm Bureau and other groups.
Haughn, 61, seeks elected office for the first time. A retired lineman of 33 years with American Electric Power, he a lifelong resident of Grove City who graduated from Grove City High School in 1970, and he currently serves on the Grove City Little League board of directors. He has been married to Debbie for 39 years, and they have a son, a daughter and two granddaughters.
Councilwoman Melissa Albright, the current Ward 3 representative, is not seeking re-election. Instead, Councilman Steve Bennett and resident Sam Clark pursue that position.
Bennett, 59, currently serves on council as an At-Large representative. A 28-year resident, he has been on council a combined 10 years over two different tenures. His first lasted from 1995 to 2001, and his second began four years ago. He is the president of the Bennett-Edgar Insurance Agency and serves as council liaison to the Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce and as a trustee for the Grove City Visitors and Convention Bureau. He is married to Debbie; they have two children and two grandchildren.
Clark, 27, a lifelong resident, originally sought a council seat in 2007 but lost to Gregory N. Grinch. He is the marketing and social media manager for the International Collision Repair Center in Columbus and has served in local several community and civic organizations, including: the Lions Club, Noon Lions Club, Grove City Rotary Club, Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, Keep Grove City Beautiful and Parks and Recreation Board.
Bennett's pursuit of the Ward 3 seat leaves an at-large seat up for grabs Tuesday open, guaranteeing at least one new face will join City Council: Roby Schottke or Laura Lanese.
Schottke, 65, is a 23-year resident and retired as executive director of instruction at South-Western City Schools three years ago. He was also a science teacher and principal at Grove City High School. Currently, sits on the Grove City Visitors and Convention Bureau board of trustees and is member of the Grove City Rotary Club. He and his wife Twinkle have two children and two stepchildren.
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. She has served on the city park board and co-written three books: Images of America: Grove City, Images of America: Wilmington and Game of My Life: Memorable Stories of Buckeye Football. She and her husband, Mike, have three children.
Jackson Township Board of Trustee Chair David Burris and Trustee Jim Rauck are up for re-election unopposed this year.
For Burris, 57, this will be his fifth term, having spent the previous 16 years on the board. He is a retired Franklin Township firefighter and currently works as a government contractor with the Department of Energy Safety and Security. A 35-year resident, he and his wife of 34 years, Jody, have one son, two daughters and four grandchildren.
Rauck, 59, has been on the board for two-and-a-half years, originally appointed to fill a vacancy for six months and then elected to finish the remaining two years. This is his first running for a full four-year term. He has been a resident for 43 years and married to Patti for 25. They have two sons and two granddaughters.