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ST. MARYS — The Republican primary race for St. Marys Council-at-Large proved to be close as five candidates sought three spots in the November General Election.
According to unofficial results, incumbent Bob Fitzgerald led all vote getters with 731 votes, followed by Todd Fleagle with 619 votes, Dan Uhlenhake with 586 votes, Russ Bailey with 580 votes and Jim Harris with 427 votes. The top three will move on to the November General Election, where they will be unopposed as no Democrats filed to take part in the primary.
“I am very pleased that I made it through those five candidates — they are all very qualified,” Fitzgerald said. “I am happy the voters placed enough confidence in me to put me back in there again. I hope that I can continue to lead the city down the current path that it is on right now.”
Fleagle, who retired from the city last year, said he is excited to get to work in January.
“I want to thank those who voted for me,” Fleagle said. “I think the close vote shows we had five good candidates running, which is good for the community. I think we have a strong interest in local politics here and that’s nice to see.”
Uhlenhake said the close vote was reminiscent of the Bush/Gore situation in 2000.
“I certainly didn’t expect it,” he said. “I want to thank everyone who has faith in me and I hope to serve the city — they can count on me.”
There are approximately 25 provisional ballots in the city left to be counted. Those ballots will be counted on May 22 — when the election results are expected to be certified.
In the only other contested primary race in the city, David Lunz defeated Cameron Ruppert in the Republican primary for the 2nd Ward Council seat by a vote of 215 to 172.
“It feels good to be moving on to the General Election,” Lunz said. “I look forward to serving and helping the city move forward.”
Running unopposed in the Republican primary were John Bubp, 609 Farrington Court, 1st Ward Councilor, and Dan Hoelscher, 714 W. South St., council president. No Republicans filed to seek the treasurer spot or the 3rd and 4th Ward City Council seats.
All Democratic candidates for St. Marys City Council ran unopposed. Advancing to the November election will be Dennis Pfeffenberger, 1113 Neil Ave., as treasurer, Kenneth J. Koverman, 1128 Holly St., for 2nd Ward Councilor, Gregory B. Freewalt, 1015 W. High St., for 3rd Ward Councilor, and Robin Willoughby, 415 Beech St., for 4th Ward Councilor. No Democrats filed to seek the council president, 1st Ward or council-at-large seats.