November 24, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
40°F

Election results: A few upsets in township races

Two incumbents were unseated in Tuesday’s race for the Westfield Township Board of Trustees.

William Thombs and Michael Schmidt won by wide margins. Thombs was the top vote-getter in the four-candidate contest, with 775 votes. Schmidt was second with 702 votes, according to unofficial final results from the Medina County Board of Elections.

Incumbent Ronald Oiler received 459. Gary Harris got 413 votes.

Thombs and Schmidt said they were grateful to the voters.

“I hope we have a group of trustees who can work together,” said Thombs, 75, a former principal at Cloverleaf High School. “I really want to try to keep it tied to the residents, and to make decisions that would be in their best interest.”

Schmidt, 61, agreed.

“I think that the residents of the township are very consolidated on their views of the direction to take the township,” he said, “and that’s the way Mr. Thombs and I want to take it.”

Oiler, 72, has been a trustee since 2009. Harris, 63, was elected in 2010.

“I thought the campaign went well, and I guess the residents have spoken,” Oiler said. “Congratulations to the winners.”

Harris was unavailable for comment.

In other elections Tuesday:

Granger Township

Donald Baker, who was appointed as Granger Township fiscal officer to fill a position vacated by Barbara Beach, won the rest of her unexpired term.

“I’m just really happy about the results. I want to thank and my wife and son, and some of his friends who helped me with the campaign,” Baker said Tuesday evening. “I’ll be in the office tomorrow going to work for them.”

Baker, 52, won the race against Brooks Rorapaugh, 56, who was running to give residents a choice over who would represent them. Since Baker was appointed by the trustees without the public’s input, Rorapaugh said their choice would have been theirs without a contender.

“A contested election for this office has not been held for at least 32 years — an entire generation,” Rorapaugh said, “and to the extent that I helped spur debate and interest in our local government, then partial victory can be declared.”

Hinckley Township

Incumbents Raymond Schulte and Dave Sambor defeated contenders Bill Horton and Lucas May for two seats on the board.

Sambor, 44, was elected in 2009 and wanted to focus on keeping service vehicles and rescue squads up to date.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be serving Hinckley for another four years,” Sambor said. “I’m happy to serve with Mr. Schulte again.”

Schulte, 60, was unavailable for comment Tuesday night.

Lafayette Township

Nanci Shanley lost her seat as a township trustee to Michael Costello. The other available seat went to incumbent Lynda Bowers.

“I want to say that I’m honored the residents have put their confidence in me,” Costello, 39, said. “I’ve served them at the Fire Department and I look forward to representing them as a trustee.”

Shanley, 60, said she was proud of what she was able to accomplish in her one term, adding there are no hard feelings about her loss.

“I think everybody has the right intentions,” Shanley said. “I think it was a tough race, and at some points a disappointing one. At the end of the day, I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to do.”

Bowers, 54, will enter her fifth term.

“I certainly appreciate the voters’ confidence,” Bowers said. “I’m so happy for Mike Costello. He was an EMT for eight years, and he’s done a lot for the community.”

James Q. Aylsworth, 70, also sought a seat on the board.

Litchfield Township

Incumbents Dennis Horvath and Nancy Wargo were re-elected over Christopher Teodecki and Susan Virosteck.

Horvath, 54, has served on the board for 16 years. Wargo, 63, was running for her second term.

Wadsworth Township

Incumbent Jim Gardner and newcomer Bob Engler won seats as trustees, defeating challengers Shawn Bouscher and William McCall.

Engler, 68, said he was excited to get to work in the township.

“Thank you so very much,” Engler said. “I think it’ll be very interesting once I get in.”

Gardner, 70, was elected in 2010. He was unavailable for comment Tuesday night.

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