June 29, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Former fire chief bests incumbent in Wadsworth council primary

WADSWORTH — Former Fire Chief Ralph Copley will be the Republican candidate for Ward 1 city councilman this November.

He edged eight-year incumbent Timothy Eberling by eight votes, 141 to 133, in Tuesday’s primary election, according to unofficial results from the Medina County Board of Elections.

Ralph Copley

Copley, 58, who retired as fire chief in December, thanked the voters and his supporters for their trust.

“The last four months have been very trying at times — making sure you’re doing everything right, trying to reach the people out there,” Copley said. “I feel great.”

He said he expected the primary race to be a close one.

“I knew this wouldn’t be a shoe-in,” he said. “Now I just have to wait to see if an independent files in August.”

If no independent candidate files, Copley will be unopposed in the Nov. 5 general election.

Copley said he hopes to make city government more transparent and to keep a watchful eye on the budget.

Eberling congratulated Copley.

“The results were in God’s hands,” said Eberling, 65. “Obviously, he’s got different plans for me.”

He said the death of his mother on April 30 slowed his campaign. He apologized to any Wadsworth residents he didn’t get to speak with.

Eberling was elected to Council in 2005 and won three two-year terms.

He said one of his biggest goals was to get a baseball complex built in the city without using taxpayer money, and that he was most proud of his involvement in road repairs and construction while on Council.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.