SHEFFIELD TWP. — Sheffield Township could have two new trustees if the unofficial results from Tuesday’s elections hold.
According to the results, Barbara Horton handily defeated Dave Newsome, 59 percent to 41 percent, respectively, in a special election, taking back a seat that her husband won in 2015 and held until he was killed in a car accident earlier this year.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” she said. “I’m grateful that the residents of the township came through for me and I was able to gain their support and, when it comes to the people who didn’t vote for me, I hope to make you proud.”
Horton said the win was an emotional one after her husband ,Mark Horton, a retired Elyria firefighter, was killed in a February car accident. Newsome, who Mark Horton defeated in the 2015 election by two votes, was chosen to replace him from March until the end of this year.
“It felt like he was with me today,” she said.
Horton will fill out the remaining two years of her husband’s term and will be joined by Chad Parsons, who was elected to his fourth four-year term Tuesday with 31 percent of the vote in a five-person field.
“I’m humbled,” Parsons said. “I’d like to thank my supporters because it was a really tough race. I’m humbled and overwhelmed.”
According to unofficial election results, just four votes separate the second and third finishers in that race, newcomer Ted Adkins and incumbent Tom Mihalcik, respectively. With Adkins receiving 21.8 percent of the vote and Mihalcik receiving 21.47 percent, the results could be shifted by provisional ballots and late absentee ballots and if the margin is less than 0.5 percent, an automatic recount could be triggered.
“I’m a little bit uneasy,” Adkins said of the unofficial results. “The campaign was a success and since this was my first time running for office, getting my name out there was really an accomplishment but I’m trying not to get too excited.”
Adkins said he decided to run for the trustee position because he was upset by the process Parsons and Mihalcek used in appointing Newsome, as eight people, including Barbara Horton, applied for the position but no interviews were conducted.
“I thought it was a charade,” he said.
Mihalcik said the campaign run against him also was a “charade” and “unfair” and orchestrated by fiscal officer Patricia Echko.
“It’s nothing against Ted but I personally don’t think it was honest and fair because I was undermined by Echko at every turn,” he said. “She sent out slurrish postcards about me and David Newsome, stating untrue statements like that I didn’t have building permits for my house when I do. They were damaging.”
Mihalcik said as a 16-year trustee, he — along with Parsons and Newsome — have done more than any other trustees to move the township forward.
“I think I did very well considering the campaign that was run against me,” he said.
The other two candidates in that race, Clint Fleming and Denise D’Agnese, finished with 15 and 10 percent of the vote, respectively.