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ELECTIONS 2023 UPDATE: Zita retains Norton mayoral seat

Mayor Mike Zita was leading according to preliminary results in the November election.

Judith Lynn Lee was the top vote getter for Norton Council at-large with 551 votes, according to preliminary results.


BGNN contributor

NORTON  Mayor Mike Zita will continue his reign as the city’s longest running mayor.

Zita has served as Norton’s mayor for almost 12 years and said he looks forward to embarking on his fourth mayoral term.

According to final but unofficial results from the Summit County Board of Elections, Zita received 2,822 votes (61.02 percent) while mayoral candidate and former finance department clerk Amber Johnson received 1,390 votes (30.05 percent) and outgoing Councilor-at-large Charlotte Whipkey received 413 votes (8.93 percent).

“I want to thank all of the voters for their continued support,” Zita said. “I want to thank them for believing in
me and my administrative staff and our safety forces. I think we have done a lot of good in the last 12 years and
I think we have come a long way. I want to continue to improve Norton’s image and continue making it a great place to live and raise a family.”

Johnson did not return calls for comment as of press time and Whipkey declined comment.

Norton voters were also asked to choose from four candidates to fill three at-large positions on council.

According to final unofficial results, Judith Lynn Lee was the top vote getter with 2,096 votes (28.04 percent). Bill Mowery received 1,969 votes (26.34 percent) and Paul Eader received 1,768 votes (23.66 percent). Incumbent Joe Kernan received 1,641 votes (21.96 percent).

“I am so elated,” Lee said. “The community has really welcomed me and supported me. I just can’t say enough about the community and it shows me the city is moving forward and has accepted its leaders very well. I am so thankful for the voters in the community who told me they liked my enthusiasm and motivation.”

Lee said she has been a member of the Norton Women’s Club and Norton Kiwanis Club, but as a member of
council she is looking forward to serving the city in a new way.

“I would like to bring more businesses into the city, but I want to do it in a way that won’t disturb the habitat of
the community,” she said. “I look forward to helping the city to move forward.”

Kerney, Mowery and Eader did not respond to requests for comment as of press time.

In Ward 3, Donald Harbert, who was appointed to the seat earlier this year, ran unopposed.

Both Jennifer Bennett and Mark DeDominic will serve on the Norton Board of Education as they were the only candidates running for two open seats.

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