Two new members will join Whitehall City Council next year after voters Nov. 7 unseated one incumbent and another incumbent was precluded from seeking re-election because of term limits.

One new member also will join the Whitehall school board next year; two incumbents were re-elected.

Voters elected council members in each of the city's four wards.

In Ward 4, Councilman Van Gregg was precluded from seeking re-election because of term limits.

Lori Elmore and former Councilman Leslie LaCorte vied for the open seat that went to Elmore, who said she is the first African-American elected to council.

"I believe it's a great thing and a testament to this city's growth," she said. "Whitehall is a multicultural city and communities (and) I believe the City Council should be reflective of the citizens it represents."

Elmore, 53, said she "listened a lot" to residents during her campaign.

"I'll continue to work and partner with the Whitehall police department to think of creative ways to help make our community safer."

While campaigning, Elmore said residents voiced concerns ranging from speeding on residential streets, recreation and parks programming and holding landlords accountable for property maintenance.

"My plan is to address these issues."

Elmore garnered 316 votes (57 percent) with LaCorte receiving 239 votes (43 percent), according to final, unofficial results from the Franklin County Board of Elections.

LaCorte said despite the loss, she is thankful to have had the opportunity to meet and hear from the community during the campaign.

"It's always sad when you lose and you know your heart was in the right place for the community," LaCorte said.

In Ward 2, incumbent Lee Stahley was unseated by Joanna Heck.

"It was a great experience; I never campaigned before," said Heck, 31, who is childcare director for the YMCA of Central Ohio.

Heck said she has no specific legislative goals when she begins her four-year term Jan. 1, but "will listen to the complaints and concerns of citizens."

"I will work to support our safety forces" and the progress of our new YMCA branch at Whitehall Community Park, Heck said.

Heck received 238 votes (61 percent), and Stahley received 150 votes (39 percent).

Stahley, 24, was appointed to council in January 2016. Stahley was not available for comment.

In other council races, incumbent Ward 1 Councilman Chris Rodriguez was re-elected.

Rodriguez, 57, has served as either a Ward 1 or an at-large councilman since 2002, and said he "looks forward to (continuing) serving the community."

Rodriguez defeated his opponent, Gerald Dixon, 56, in Dixon's second attempt at elected office following an unsuccessful at-large bid in 2015. Rodriguez received 224 votes (57 percent) to Dixon's 172 votes (43 percent), according to final, unofficial results from the board of elections.

Dixon said he was disappointed that voters chose a career politician rather than a candidate who campaigned on the importance of ethics and challenged abuses of power in local government.

In Ward 3, incumbent Larry Morrison defeated Paul Werther. Morrison received 306 votes (62 percent) and Werther garnered 186 votes (38 percent).

Morrison, 68, thanked voters for electing him to a second term and said he "will work with the administration and council to keep Whitehall moving forward."

Werther, 57, lost in his second attempt at elected office, having lost an at-large bid in 2007.

Werther lamented that so few people voted and offered his support for Morrison.

"I'm sure he will continue to do a good job," he said.

At-large members of City Council will be up for election in 2019, as will other administrative offices in the city, including mayor.

In the school board race, five candidates sought three seats.

Darryl Hammock Jr., a former board member, was the top vote-getter, receiving 998 votes (24 percent), followed by incumbents Blythe Wood with 971 votes (23 percent) and Leo Knoblauch with 918 votes (22 percent).

Hammock said he is meeting this week with Superintendent Brian Hamler and Treasurer Steve McAfee to "get caught up" on issues before the district.

Hammock said he hopes the district can improve its performance on state report cards during his term.

"We are a transient district, so it's a challenge," he said.

Hammock previously served on the board twice, each by appointment.

Tiffanie Charles, who received 822 votes (19 percent) and Mone't Smith, who garnered 531 votes (13 percent), also were on the ballot.

Whitehall Auditor Dan Miller ran uncontested.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo