The members of Norwich Township Firefighter IAFF Local 1723 recently voted to endorse Tim Roberts over incumbent Mike Cope for Norwich Township trustee.

The members of Norwich Township Firefighter IAFF Local 1723 recently voted to endorse Tim Roberts over incumbent Mike Cope for Norwich Township trustee.

Roberts, 53, served as a Norwich Township firefighter for 13 years and is currently a member of Hilliard City Council. In January, he said he would not seek a third term on council.

“I’m humbled, excited and pleased that I got their endorsement, and looking forward to the upcoming race,” Roberts said.

He was chosen by the union body over incumbent township trustee Mike Cope.

“I’m disappointed, but I should have known, because he’s one of theirs,” Cope said. “We’ve done a fine job. The fire department is in the best shape it could possibly be in; they have the most up-to-date equipment. We’ll go ahead and win the election without them.”

Cope, 56, is seeking a second term. A former member of Hilliard City Council and the planning and zoning commission, Cope works for the Ohio Department of Transportation.

“The majority of our members know both of the candidates and have known them for several years,” Local 1723 president Brian Gatley said.

The decision was made “after going through an intensive process and candidate interviews,” union secretary Kevin Strawser said in an e-mail.

Each candidate was interviewed for more than half an hour on Sept. 8 and asked identical questions, including their stances on State Issue 2, Gatley said.

The candidates’ responses were presented to the membership on Sept. 13. All but one of the 35-40 members in attendance voted to endorse Roberts, Gatley said.

The firefighters also endorsed incumbent Jamie Miles as fiscal officer for the township. She is running unopposed.

The other two township trustees, Chuck Buck and Larry Earman, are not up for election this year.