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ELECTIONS 2023: Barberton mayor Judge granted fourth term — barely

Unofficial tallies from the Nov. 7 election show Barberton Mayor William Judge retaining his fourth term as mayor barely edging out opponent Megann Eberhart.

Rebecca Gearhart was elected as a new Barberton council member Nov. 7 in unofficial tallies.

By BOB MOREHEAD
BGNN senior staff writer

BARBERTON  It was a squeaker, still up in the air until the last couple precincts were recorded, but unofficial tallies show Mayor William Judge retained for a fourth term, 3,637-3,513 over Republican challenger Megann Eberhart.

“Thank you to the voters for your support in re-electing me as your mayor,” Judge told BGNN.

“I look forward to the next four years as we continue moving the city forward. We will continue with the projects I announced during my campaign including infrastructure projects comprising of a new waterline replacement program, a new city website, the continuation of the Homelessness Task Force and meeting with
small and large businesses. We have been working on revamping our Barberton Forward: Neighborhoods First Program, which will address neighborhood issues in a new and more efficient and effective manner. My administration has already made applications for more grant funding surrounding our streets and infrastructure as well as other needed projects. It’s been an honor and pleasure serving as your mayor, let’s keep growing the
Magic!”

Eberhart pointed out Nov. 8 that the election is still undecided.

“There are still 180 ballots in play at the board of elections,” she said. “That’s more than the margin that separates us. That’s why I still haven’t conceded.”

Lisa Okolish Miller handily fended off a challenge for law director, 4,122 over Jason Charlton’s 2,697.

Judge will be working with a completely new city council. All six ward seats were in play but only two incumbents filed to return. Only one, Shorter Griffin of Ward 3, will do so; he was unopposed. The other, Joyce Coburn in Ward 5, was defeated 556-438 by challenger Rebecca Gearhart. Also unopposed was Ward 1 newcomer Jennifer Hager. In Ward 4, it was Emily Beck 509-391 over school board member Tina Ludwig.

In Ward 2, ex-cop Kenneth Cheatham trounced his opponent Paul Risley, 812-407. In a sweep for ex-cops, Monte Harris beat Kimberly Trenary 751-438 in Ward 6. Finance Director Jeremy Flaker returns, having been unopposed.

Both incumbent Barberton Municipal Court judges are returning, each soundly rebuffing their challengers. Todd McKenney was 26,748 over Cletus Pulliam’s 7,279 and Diana Stevenson was 22,372 over Steve Elliott’s 9,801.

On the Barberton school board, both running incumbents will return. Pat Boyle earned 3,030 votes and Tom Harnden 2,667. They will join the top vote-getter, newcomer Cindy Sutton, who claimed 3,465. Scott Rockich took 1,940 in the race and Tia Jipson 1,329.

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