Chardon city voters showed confidence in two incumbents, returning them to their seats, and welcomed a new City Council member during Tuesday’s general election.
Council members Deborah Chuha and Christopher Grau, both seeking second terms, and political newcomer Heather Means were top vote-getters in the five- person race for three seats on Chardon City Council.
According to the unofficial results from the Geauga County Board of Elections, Mrs. Chuha garnered 912 votes, while Mr. Grau received 1,039 and Mrs. Means amassed 652. Challengers Barbara Simkoff received 572 votes and Hannah Diemer Sekas reaped 391, according to the unofficial results.
“What a relief,” Mrs. Chuha said Tuesday night. “I am very happy to be able to serve another term. I look forward to serving the residents, business owners and taxpayers and plan to do the best I can for them.”
“I would like to thank all the people who showed support for me and I look forward to the next four years,” Mrs. Chuha said.
Mr. Grau was busy collecting his signs Tuesday night, giving him a chance to “work off some jitters.”
“I put in a lot of work and long days,” he said of his campaign, noting there was a strong field of candidates for voters to choose from in the election.
“I’m thrilled to be considered part of the City Council for the next four years and serving the great people of Chardon,” Mr. Grau said.
He offered congratulations to Mrs. Chuha and Mrs. Means, saying he is looking forward to working with them.
He thanked his family, friends and neighbors who supported him over the past four years. “They put up with the schedule of a council person, which is not easy,” Mr. Grau said.
Mrs. Means, like Mr. Grau, was busy collecting her campaign signs when she received a text from her soon-to-be fellow council member, Daniel Meleski. “It really shocked me,” Mrs. Means said of learning of her successful campaign.
She attributed her strong support by voters to her many years of being involved in the community, giving her a chance to get to know the people of the city.
“It’s a weird feeling,” she said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to do this. To do something like this requires the support of many people.”
She said she met a lot of people that were strangers before she began her campaign, many who offered her their support. Even her daughter’s teacher gave her their support and told her they were telling others to support her as well. “Absolutely, I appreciate everyone who gave me their support,” she said.
“We have a good group of people on council and I’m excited to work with them,” Mrs. Means said.
Councilman and former city manager David Lelko chose not to seek re-election for a second term on council, leaving the race to the two incumbents and three challengers.