The race for three seats on the Reynoldsburg school board and three on City Council each produced two clear winners Nov. 7 but a third contest in each race is still undecided.

Newcomer Jeni Quesenberry got the lion's share of votes among candidates for three seats on the Reynoldsburg Board of Education with 4,348 and incumbent Joe Begeny was re-elected with 3,909 votes when unofficial Election Day totals from Franklin, Fairfield and Licking counties were tabulated.

The winner of the third seat on the board is still undetermined between incumbent Rob Truex, who received 3,071 votes, and newcomer Robert Barga, who received 3,073 votes.

Newcomer Kristin Bryant, a Democrat, earned the most votes in the City Council contest at 3,215 with incumbent Barth Cotner, a Republican, not far behind with 3,154 votes.

Newcomers Stacie Baker and Kelly Cruse, both Democrats, are nearly tied, according to figures from the Franklin County Board of Elections, with Baker at 3,097 votes and Cruse at 3,096, knocking incumbent Republican Chris Long out of the race. Long received 2,885 votes.

Another newcomer, Republican Aaron DeLong, received 2,752 votes.

Absentee ballots may come in as late as Nov. 17 and provisional ballots cast on Election Day are not included in the current vote count, said Aaron Sellers, public information officer for the Franklin County Board of Elections.

He said an official canvass of votes could begin Nov. 18, but must begin no later than Nov. 22.

"Our board must certify the election no later than Nov. 28," he said. "If a race falls within the margin of 0.5 percent, then a mandatory recount must take place."

Once a recount is ordered, it would take place within 10 days, Sellers said.

Candidate reaction

"As the every-vote-matters result became reality, I resolved that no matter who ends up being declared the winner, I would continue to fight for the best interests of our district, community and students," Barga said.

"It will be some time until we know the results of this race, but I trust our system and I know that our district will continue to improve," he said.

Truex called the election "quite exciting."

"This is a chance to show our kids the importance of voting and the democratic process," he said. "I'm proud to have been part of that process and, win or lose, I know that the kids of our district will benefit from the passion and involvement of our community."

Truex said if he wins, "I will continue to advocate for our kids so that we can provide all the opportunities possible for their success."

Quesenberry said she was "humbled by the number of votes" she received.

"As the numbers came in, I tried to keep a level head and not be overly confident," she said.

"We all worked so hard during the election.

"As I move forward, it is my goal to keep the focus on what is best for students," she said. "All students deserve a high-quality education and it is my job to ensure that happens."

Baker said if the third City Council seat is declared his after a recount, he will try his best to fulfill campaign promises he made to voters.

"I will look forward in 2018 to working with the council and mayor to bring economic development and infrastructure improvements into the city of Reynoldsburg," he said. "I would also work with our safety service teams and various community groups to keep our neighborhoods safe."

Cruse said her goal was to get new, more diverse voices -- demographically, politically and culturally -- into city government.

"Whether Stacie or myself take that seat, we accomplished that," she said.

If she does win, she wants to start building strategic partnerships to stimulate economic development.

"I just want to help this city grow and prosper, for the good of everyone," she said. "I look forward to stepping in and helping to find solutions."

Long was seeking his third term on City Council.

"I would like the voters and citizens of Reynoldsburg to know it has been both a pleasure and an honor to serve them for the last eight years," he said. "My wife and I were busy community volunteers prior to the 2009 election and we will continue to be active in the community.

"There are exciting developments happening in the city," he said. "I hope to continue to be a part in those and new developments in the future as well."

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