Two Republican candidates will face off in the only contested Reynoldsburg-specific race on the May 7 primary-election ballot.

Joe Bizjak and Steven W. Hicks are competing for the right to run as the Republican nominee in November against Democrat Meredith Lawson-Rowe for a chance to represent Reynoldsburg's Ward 4 on City Council.

The seat currently is held by longtime Councilman Mel Clemens, who decided not to seek re-election.

Bizjak, 26, is a lifelong resident of Reynoldsburg and lives on Tributary Lane.

He attended Bishop Hartley High School and earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Kent State University. He works as a liaison to the board of directors at the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.

Both Bizjak and Hicks currently serve on the Reynoldsburg Planning Commission and its Board of Nuisance Abatement.

Bizjak previously served as chairman of the city's Charter Review Commission and the Design Review Board.

The endorsed candidate of the Franklin County Republican Party, Bizjak said he's had a "front-row seat" to the growth and development of Reynoldsburg. He said he is seeking to further his public service.

"My success in fostering strong public and private relationships, combined with the support of our elected and business leaders, makes me the most qualified, experienced and dedicated candidate to lead Ward 4," he said.

Hicks, 32, attended Northridge High School in Johnstown and earned a bachelor's degree in political science with a minor in communications from The Ohio State University.

He lives on Lancaster Avenue with his wife, Grace, and their two children, Jackson, 9, and Madison, 7.

Hicks is director of development for Treplus Communities in Columbus and formerly served as a village councilman in his hometown of Alexandria before moving to Reynoldsburg.

He currently is serving on a steering committee to rewrite Reynoldsburg's zoning code and was a member of the 2018 comprehensive-plan steering committee.

Hicks said his "passion for building communities" led to his decision to seek a seat on City Council.

"Unlike many career politicians, I have been on the other side of local government and have seen the negative unintended consequences of bad public policy," he said. "I believe I can help modernize our local government and prepare it for the future in a way that most benefits our residents."

editorial@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekNews