It might sound like a cliche, but Zach Klein celebrated his electoral win with a trip to Walt Disney World.
After winning his race for Columbus city attorney in the Nov. 7 general election, Klein said he was taking his family on a vacation in Florida.
When Klein takes office Jan. 1, he will replace Richard C. Pfeiffer Jr., who is retiring after 14 years as city attorney.
"Rick has been there every step of the way supporting me and I will rely on him even after the transition," said Klein, president of Columbus City Council.
Klein must resign from his council seat in order to serve as city attorney. His council term expires Dec. 31, 2019.
New leadership in an elected office typically brings a number new staff appointees.
However, Klein said, he expects some reshuffling but not many personnel changes.
"I respect everyone in that office," he said. "They do a great job and I look forward to working with them."
Klein, a Clintonville resident, said he hopes to strike a balance between Pfeiffer's leadership and his own style.
"I think the office is very well run, very well, really," he said. "There are a lot of great lawyers there."
One change that will occur is that Amy O'Grady, who works in the council president's office and oversees programs to battle the local heroin and opioid-addiction epidemic, will move to the city attorney's office. There she will continue to implement the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County's opioid-action plan.
Klein, 38, defeated Republican Don Kline in the election, receiving 68,055 votes (72 percent of the ballots cast in the race) to Kline's 26,855 votes (28 percent).
The general election was a good one for Columbus Democrats, although the races technically are nonpartisan.
Megan Kilgore of Berwick defeated her Republican opponent, Bob Mealy, in the race for Columbus city auditor.
Kilgore, 35, received 69,755 votes (77 percent) to Mealy's 20,820 votes (23 percent).
That race marked another significant change in leadership because Kilgore will replace Hugh Dorrian, who chose not to seek re-election after nearly 50 years in the office.
Kilgore, a private municipal adviser to governments throughout the country for H.J. Umbaugh & Associates, had worked for 12 years under Dorrian.
She said she plans to continue the "strong fiscal management of the city" while bringing a fresh approach to the office.
For example, Kilgore said, she wants to enhance online tax filings and look at new ways to share the city's financial information with city leaders and workers, as well as residents.
Kilgore said she wants to draw on the institutional knowledge of the current staff, meaning she doesn't plan on any major upheaval.
"Mr. Dorrian has no doubt made the office into the national model of excellence that it is and that it's proven to be through the awards it has won year after year after year," she said. "But what has made it the national model is what happens behind the scenes."
Meanwhile, in the race for Columbus City Council, the three Democratic incumbents easily defeated four other candidates to retain their seats.
Priscilla Tyson was the top vote-getter, with 59,444 votes (24 percent), followed by Shannon Hardin with 58,744 votes (23 percent) and Mitchell Brown, 51,750 votes (21 percent).
The only GOP-endorsed candidate was Kieran Cartharn, who won the primary as an independent.
He placed sixth with 21,866 votes (9 percent).
Democrats Jasmine Ayres received 30,473 (12 percent) and Will Petrik 26,103 (10 percent), respectively.
Write-in candidates, including Democrat Joe Motil, received a combined 2,054 votes (1 percent).