Section: News

Off-year election brings mixed national results while local races mainly uncontested

This past Tuesday was Election Day. While a number of high-profile, nationwide elections were widely considered referendums on President Joe Biden’s first year in office, Knox County ballots featured mostly uncontested races. However, Kenyon’s own Director of Research and Instruction Julia Warga lost out on a Mount Vernon City Council at-large seat. 

From a local standpoint, unofficial results published by the Knox County Board of Elections show 22.72% voter turnout, down dramatically from last year’s 74.66% and slightly lower than in 2019 when 26.08% of voters cast ballots. NBC4 Columbus has projected outcomes for all contests. 

Many races were uncontested. Bruce Hawkins was reelected president of Mount Vernon City Council, David Stuller was elected treasurer and all four ward representatives were elected unchallenged. For the three at-large seats, Amber Keener, Janis Seavolt and Mel Severns were elected over Warga — the only Democrat in the race. 

Kaitlin Sockman and Natalie Wright were elected to the Gambier Village Council unopposed. 

The election for College Township Trustees was likewise an uncontested race, electing Edward O’Connell and William Houston III. 

A Knox County senior services levy is projected to win by a margin of almost 4,000 votes as of Wednesday. This will renew the tax for five more years, beginning in 2022, which provides funding for senior services including through senior center organizations in Mount Vernon, Centerburg and Fredericktown. 

Gas and electric aggregation programs — which would allow Knox County to auto-enroll residents of unincorporated areas in gas and electric purchasing and thus use county buying power to secure discounts — were each opposed by a margin of approximately 800 votes. 

Hot Rods’ market D-3 license — which, if confirmed by voters as NBC projects, would allow the business to sell alcohol on Sundays — is currently supported 109-100. 

The two special congressional elections in Ohio likewise had mixed results. In the 11th district, Democrat Shontel Brown beat out a Republican challenger to take the seat filled by Marcia Fudge, now White House housing secretary. Meanwhile, Republican Mike Carey won the seat in the 15th district. 

Nationally, the night also brought mixed results. Key governor races in Virginia and New Jersey have unsettled Democrats, according to the New York Times. In Virginia, Republican Glenn Youngkin snagged the governorship for his party for the first time in 10 years, taking the reins from Terry McAuliffe. Incumbent New Jersey governor Phil Murphy narrowly defeated Jack Ciattrelli, a tough challenger, with the race not called by the New York Times until Wednesday night. Murphy is the first Democratic incumbent to win reelection in New Jersey since 1977

Tuesday’s elections were also strong for diversity. Eric Adams was elected mayor of New York City, making him the second Black mayor in the city’s history. Michelle Wu was elected mayor of Boston. She will be the first woman and first person of color to hold the office. 

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