Come January Josh Schlicher will take the reins as Marietta City Council president. The Republican candidate outdistanced Democratic challenger Kevin Paskawych by 275 votes, according to the final but unofficial results of Tuesday’s general election.
“I had a lot of good help in this campaign and we all worked as a team,” Schlicher said after learning of his victory.
“We talked directly to a lot of voters. I think the personal contact really helped, I felt pretty confident this time,” he said.
Schlicher, a former councilman at-large, had 1,287 votes while Paskawych, a newcomer to the political realm, took 1,012 votes in the council presidential race.
“I’ve been told that for anyone on their first time out in a political campaign, especially if they’re not well-known, to take 40 percent of the vote is good, but we took more than 44 percent,” Paskawych said. “So I feel pretty good about that.”
Two years ago Schlicher also made a bid for council president against current Democratic president Walt Brothers, who said Tuesday he believes his former opponent will do well.
“I think Josh will do a good job,” Brothers said following the election. “And I’ll be working with him to help make a smooth transition.”
Democrat Councilman Mike McCauley held onto his second ward post, garnering 109 votes over Republican opponent James “Chip” Wilson. McCauley, who has previously served a total of 12 years on council, took 338 votes while Wilson received 229.
McCauley admitted he had some doubts about how the race might turn out.
“There are only two ways to run-unopposed or scared,” he said. “But we knocked on a lot of doors and talked to a lot of people.”
He thanked the second ward voters for bringing him back for another term on council.
Wilson said his first venture into politics was a positive experience.
“I feel good about what we did, and don’t know what we could have done differently,” he said. “I still would have liked to present some of my ideas on council. But Mike has a lot of name recognition in the city, and I don’t doubt he’ll do a good job.”
In the council at-large race, Democrat Kathy Downer, a first-time candidate, will join incumbents Harley Noland, also a Democrat, and Independent Michael Mullen at the council table.
Republican challengers Jon Grimm and Michael Boersma lost their bids for at-large seats.
Downer took 1,146 votes, Noland 1,277, and Mullen 1,311.
Grimm had 1,093, and Boersma 916 votes.
“I have a lot of people to thank,” Downer said. “We had a lot of help from the Democrats and a lot of volunteers. I really enjoyed this campaign and am excited to be serving on council.”
Grimm said the Republican team worked hard and he enjoyed working with his fellow GOP candidates.
“But I’ll stay involved in local politics in some way, but can’t say right now that I’ll be a candidate again,” he said.