For the first time in more than a decade, Reynoldsburg voters on Nov. 5 will elect a new mayor.
CORRECTION: Mayoral candidate Barth Cotner has two children, a daughter and a son. The print and earlier online version of this story mistakenly said he has two daughters.
Incumbent Brad McCloud, first elected in 2007, is not seeking reelection.
Democrat Joe Begeny and Republican Barth Cotner both are running for the office for the first time.
Begeny, 43, is president of the Reynoldsburg Board of Education, and Cotner, 47, is a longtime City Council member.
Begeny is a high school teacher in Columbus City Schools and holds a master's degree in social sciences from Ohio University. He and his wife, Tori, have two children who attend Reynoldsburg schools: Jonathan, a junior at the e-STEM Academy, and Alex, who is in eighth grade at Waggoner Road Junior High School.
Begeny serves on the school board's policy and finance committees and has volunteered with several community organizations, including the Tomato Festival, Heroes for Heroes 5K and Plant Reynoldsburg.
He said he wants to be the next mayor to "help our city reach its potential."
"Reynoldsburg is a great place to raise a family and we have great schools, but our city can be so much more, blending a small-town feel with the opportunities for entertainment, fine dining and community events that are so popular," Begeny said.
Begeny's campaign website is begenyforohio.com/.
Cotner holds a bachelor's degree in mortuary science from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science and owns and operates Cotner Funeral Home in Reynoldsburg. He and his wife, Julie, have two children: daughter Lucie and son Casey, who both attend Hannah Ashton Middle School.
Cotner is chairman of council's finance committee and is serving as the chairman of the board of the Reynoldsburg Community Center YMCA, currently under construction on Davidson Drive.
He also serves on the board of the HEART food pantry and volunteers through the Reynoldsburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club in addition to coaching youth sports.
He said he wants to be the next mayor to promote "steady and stable growth."
"I was born, raised and been a resident of Reynoldsburg my entire life," Cotner said. "I understand our community. I am prepared to serve from day one as our next mayor as we continue to show why Reynoldsburg is a wonderful place to live and grow."
Cotner's campaign website is cotnerformayor.com/home.
In addition to the next mayor, Reynoldsburg voters will weigh in on City Council, council president, city attorney, the board of education and a 3.1-mill renewal levy for Franklin County Children Services. Truro Township residents also will vote on two trustee seats and the fiscal officer, who is running unopposed.
Early in-person and absentee voting begins Oct. 8.
NOTE: Look for candidate Q&As and additional election coverage in the coming weeks in ThisWeek Reynoldsburg News and online at ThisWeekNEWS.com.