Westerville residents will see a contested City Council race this November, as resident Doug Rankin will challenge four incumbents looking to retain their seats.
Kathy Cocuzzi, Jenifer French, Mike Heyeck and Larry Jenkins all will look to retain their seats, each seeking a new four-year term.
Cocuzzi is in her eighth year on council and is serving her fourth year as mayor. She has lived in Westerville for 31 years.
French, an attorney, was appointed to council in January 2011. She is a Westerville native and a graduate of Westerville North High School. She returned to the city in 2006 after completing law school in California.
Heyeck has served on council for 20 years. He retired earlier this year from AEP, where he worked for 37 years. He has lived in Westerville since 1980.
Jenkins is concluding his first four-year term on council. He's a Gahanna native who moved back to central Ohio in 1995 after graduating from Purdue University. He's lived in Westerville since 1997.
Rankin is new to Westerville politics, running for local office for the first time. However, he has long been active in local issues, attending school board and City Council meetings to comment on issues.
Blendon trustees unopposed
Meanwhile, in Blendon Township, trustees Stewart Flaherty and Jan Heichel will run unopposed for re-election.
Flaherty, who runs his own financial planning business, has served on the board of trustees since 2007 and is currently president. Previously, he served for 13 years on Westerville City Council, serving for a time as mayor.
Heichel has served on the board of trustees since 2009 and is currently vice chairwoman.
Heichel has worked for JP Morgan Chase since 1999. A longtime resident of the township, she said she and her husband have been active in the Blendon community for 39 years.