Washington Ward 3 residents have a new city council representative.
Jeff Patke defeated veteran councilman Connie Groff in Tuesday’s municipal election.
Patke polled 442 votes, or 54.7 percent, to 363 votes, or 44.9 percent, for Groff.
Groff has served nine years on the council. Before that she served 18 years on the park board.
This was Patke’s first bid for elected office.
In the only other council race on Tuesday’s ballot, two-term incumbent Walt Meyer retained his Ward 1 seat by defeating challenger Tom Coulter in a rematch from two years ago.
Meyer won by a 52-vote margin. The vote was 393, or 53.47 percent, for Meyer and 341, 46.39 percent, for Coulter.
Meyer narrowly defeated Coulter two years ago in a Ward 1 race that featured a third candidate.
County Clerk Debbie Door said the vote totals were certified Thursday afternoon.
“I feel great,” Patke said of his election win. “The campaign was a lot of work but it never was a negative campaign. It’s difficult to unseat an incumbent, especially someone like Connie who served for nine years.
“It did not come without a lot of work,” Patke said. “I met a lot of people” in the campaign.
Patke said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the win and appreciates all the support he received from the citizens.
“I look forward to applying common sense to city government and getting to work,” Patke remarked.
“I truly appreciate the support of all who voted for me and thank all of you for your comments on city matters,” Meyer said when contacted after the election.
“I am here to support the citizens of Washington and will do my best. Thank you again,” he commented.
Three other council members had no opposition and won their elections Tuesday.
They were Jeff Mohesky, Ward 2, 756 votes; Greg Skornia, Ward 3, 694 votes; and Joe Holtmeier, Ward 4, 579 votes.
Skornia was elected to a one-year term to complete the term of Tim Brinker who resigned after being elected First District Franklin County commissioner.