News recap: How you voted in Tuesday’s election in Athens

This week saw the election of three Athens City Council members — including one independent — and the rejection of marijuana legalization in the state of Ohio. Voters also approved a measure that aims to reduce partisan gerrymandering in the state.

Below is our recap of the results of the election in Athens and what it will mean for Athens residents and Ohioans.

Democrats retained their majority on Athens City Council

563981afae300.image
Dennis E. Powell | The Athens NEWS
  • Incumbent Jennifer Cochran and local business owner Peter Kotses, both Democrats, will claim two at-large seats on council, meaning the party will still have a 6-1 majority in Athens. [The Post]
  • The unofficial vote tallies released Tuesday showed that 35 percent of registered voters in Athens County casted their ballots, compared with an about 34 percent voter turnout last November. [The Athens NEWS]
  • While Kotses won about 27 percent of the vote and Cochran won 25 percent, the council race was the only contested race in this year’s elections. The chair of the Athens County Democratic Party said the two are “fantastic public servants and will represent Athens well.” [The Post]

  • Democrat Joan Kraynanski and Aaron Dauterman, an Ohio University senior who ran as a Republican, came in fourth and fifth place respectively in the council at-large race. [The New Political]
  • Kotses, a lifelong resident of Athens and owner of Athens Bicycle, received 1,763 votes, the most votes any candidate received. [The Athens Messenger]

Pat McGee will be the first independent to serve on city council in decades

56398c76d5e88.image
Oliver Hamlin | The Post
  • The Democrats didn’t win every seat on Athens City Council, however. Independent candidate Pat McGee won one of the three at-large seats, receiving 1,518 votes, or 23 percent of the total vote. [The Post]
  • McGee, a managing attorney with the Center for Student Legal Services, is the first independent to be elected to an at-large seat on council since at least 1982. [The Athens News]
  • McGee spoke to The Athens Messenger about his success as an independent candidate: “It says to me that people can look beyond labels, even when you have a fairly organized party that you’re opposing.” [The Athens Messenger]
  • The councilman-elect ran on a platform of putting Ohio University students first and encouraged them to vote. [The New Political]
  • McGee graduated from OU in 1970 and then travelled the world for a decade, but has lived in Athens for the past 35 years. Along with advocating for students, he supports marijuana legalization, a looser code enforcement and a raise in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, as long as the money stays in Athens. [The Post]
  • In addition, WOUB published a series of photos depicting election night in Athens. McGee can be seen playing celtic music on the concertina at local bar Jackie-O’s celebrating his win. [WOUB]

No surprise here: Steve Patterson elected mayor of Athens

2d4Z9BPN
Steve Patterson | @MayorPatterson on Twitter
  • Steve Patterson was elected mayor after running unopposed. Patterson, a Democrat, holds an at-large seat on Athens City Council and will begin his term as mayor in January. [The Post]
  • Despite running an uncontested race, Patterson campaigned door to door and watched the polling numbers closely Tuesday. He said he’s elated to have the support of citizens. [The Athens News]
  • Patterson suggested several efforts he wants to work on as mayor. He said he wants to start working on organizing the city’s Halloween block party far earlier, possibly in January. He also suggested ideas to turn certain parts of Uptown into “pedestrian corridors.” [The Athens News]
  • The mayor-elect told The New Political: “It’s time to take Athens to the next level. You know, I’m really tired of the brain drain, and I’m really looking forward to the brain gain in the city of Athens, trying to keep people here.” [The New Political]

Ohio chose gerrymandering reform but rejected marijuana legalization; Athens County said “no” to Issue 2 while Ohio voted “yes”

Konopí
Via Wikimedia Commons
  • Ohio voters had three issues to vote on at Tuesday’s election. Issue 3, the ballot measure that would have legalized recreational and medical marijuana in the state, failed to pass. Meanwhile, Ohio voters passed Issues 1 and 2, which aim to reduce partisan gerrymandering and limit the power of monopolies, respectively. [The Post]
  • The Post also reported that Athens County voters overwhelmingly rejected Issue 3, with about 64 percent of residents voting against the issue and about 36 percent voting for it. About 64 percent of Ohio voters voted “no” on the issue. [The Post]
  • The controversial Issue 3 proposed a monopoly for the commercial sale of recreational and medical marijuana in the state. The executive director of ResponsibleOhio, the group behind Issue 3, said the day after the election: “We started the conversation and we’re going to continue the conversation starting tomorrow. The status quo doesn’t work, it’s unacceptable and we’re not going away.” [The New Political]
  • Issue 2 was put on the ballot to specifically target Issue 3 and will still have consequences despite Issue 3’s failure. It states that if any ballot initiative includes a “commercial interest,” or is otherwise deemed a monopoly, voters will have to pass two measures, one to grant an exception and the other on the proposal itself. [The Athens News]
  • Issue 2 passed in the state of Ohio with about 52 percent of the vote to about 48 percent. Of Ohio’s 88 counties, Athens was one of 16 that rejected Issue 2, with a vote of 53.46 percent against the issue. [The Athens News]
  • Ohio and Athens County voters passed Issue 1, which will amend the Ohio Constitution in an effort to prevent gerrymandering, or the partisan drawing legislative districts. It will create a bipartisan redistricting commission with seven members, two of which must be from the minority party in the state. [The Post]
  • Finally, here’s WOUB’s Election Night Special Report that focused on the election’s state issues. [WOUB]

Author: Alex Meyer

Journalism student at Ohio University.

Leave a Reply