Solon Incumbent Councilman Douglas A. Magill lost his seat to Eugene Macke Bentley during the general election Tuesday in the highly watched and tight Ward 1 race.
According to unofficial results from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Mr. Magill had 432 votes or 48.59 percent while Mr. Bentley garnered 457 votes or 51.41 percent of the ballots cast in the nonpartisan race. Just 25 votes separated the two candidates.
Incumbent Ward 3 Councilman Jeremy A. Zelwin retained his seat defeating John T. Scott, while Incumbent Councilwoman Nancy E. Meany beat Peter Shanes for Ward 5. Ward 7 Councilman William I. Russo ran unopposed.
Results will be certified later this month by the elections board. The new four-year Solon council terms will begin Dec. 1.
Mr. Bentley, 57, said Wednesday, “I am very happy and very excited of the outcome. Obviously it took a whole team and the support of my neighbors and friends of ward 1 and the city, and I’m happy with the outcome.”
Mr. Magill, 70, who was seeking his second term in office, said, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the residents of my ward over the last four years.
“I pledged to be an active councilman and to put extra effort into understanding the issues and to always vote in the best interests of my ward and the city,” Mr. Magill continued. “I am proud of what I have accomplished and what I have been able to initiate, often behind the scenes.
“Unfortunately, that was not considered of value as much as I had hoped,” he said. “I also promised to be a strong and independent voice, and to not just go along for political purposes. I have succeeded in that, and I am saddened that that was not valued as well.”
He said he will miss all the residents he has come to know and enjoy, as well as the relationships he developed with the professionals who work for the city.
Mr. Zelwin, who earned 584 votes or 60.14 percent over Mr. Scott at 387 votes or 39.86 percent, said on Wednesday that he was “re-energized.
“Yesterday confirmed everything I’ve heard over my last few years,” Mr. Zelwin, 37, said. “It’s a complete referendum of what the city wants and where it wants to go.”
Mr. Zelwin said his opponent ran a campaign based on information that was not factual and name calling.
“Residents of Solon don’t like that, and yesterday showed where the city’s values are,” Mr. Zelwin said. He said he looks forward to continuing to represent the ward.
“It was a great show of support at the polls all day and last night,” he said.
Mr. Scott, 74, said he was encouraged by many in the ward to run in the first place “because they were dissatisfied and I answered the call.
“There were a lot of people who helped me and we worked hard, but in the end we couldn’t pull it off,” Mr. Scott said. “I thank them for all their help, but life goes on.”
Mr. Shanes said of his defeat Wednesday, “Obviously things didn’t go as I had liked.” He believed his opposition to Issue 65, which he didn’t think would pass, did not help his candidacy ultimately. That issue was approved by voters on Tuesday.
“Voters were focused on that and not the other aspects of my campaign, which were fiscal discipline,” Mr. Shanes, 60, said. “That’s how it goes, and apparently the city is looking to stay on the direction that it is on and the current path.”
All of the candidates were at the polls throughout the day and into the evening Tuesday, discussing with voters various issues in the city.
Sara Kass, who was at Grantwood Golf Course, the polling location for Ward 1, said, relatively speaking she was well informed heading to the voting booth. She said both Mr. Magill and Mr. Bentley, while on the campaign trail, listened to her thoughts and comments.
She said it is important for whoever holds the seat to bring the community together. “Solon is known for its diversity,” she said. “We need to continue to break down fences. We’ve got what we need, but we need to put the pieces together,”