NEW HAVEN — It is unusual for a write-in candidate to win an election, especially with three other candidates on the ballot.
But that is exactly what happened Tuesday in the Town of New Haven, when Jerry Spradling won the mayor’s seat in the municipal election.
Spradling, a write-in, topped the other candidates, including incumbent Mayor Charles Yonker, Stephen “Snuf” Smith, who is a former mayor, and newcomer Eric Blain. Spradling received 116 votes. Smith came in next with 99, followed by Mayor Yonker with 47 and Blain with 37.
Recorder Roberta Hysell ran unopposed in her quest for re-election. She received 261 votes.
Winning bids for the five council seats were Grant Hysell with 217 votes; Matthew Gregg, 135; George Gibbs, who is a former mayor, 130; incumbent councilman Jim Elias, 124; and Matthew Shell, 119.
A total of 15 candidates sought council positions. Other candidates and their total votes included Erin Young, 88; Elnora Weaver, 84; Karen Ann Hindel, 79; incumbent Vinson “Smitty” Jarrell, 75; Jackie Blain, 60; Pamela Schwarz, 58; Timothy Stone, 56; James McCormick, 47; Sarah Gibbs, 46; and Nora Hoffett, 13.
It was a long day for poll workers, who counted the ballots by hand. With the large number of council candidates, results were finally counted and posted at 11:40 p.m., over four hours after the polls closed.
A record number of voters also turned out for the election, with 312 residents casting ballots. All results will remain unofficial until the canvassing of the ballots. The new town leaders will take office July 1 for a two-year term.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.