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Strick's the ticket

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VOTERS: Voters from Huntington County check in at the voting center at Heritage Hall on the Huntington County Fairgrounds on the afternoon of Election Day.The 2019 Municipal Election - County Wide Election sawa total of 9,418 voters or 38.7 percent of the 24,333 registered Huntington County voters.
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RICHARD AND JENNA: Richard and his wife Jenna Strick share a quiet moment just seconds before the results of the 2019 Municipal Election are released. A crowd gathered in the Strick campaign headquarters located downtown off of Jefferson Street for the results, which were released just before 7:40 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
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MAYOR ELECT: independent candidate Richard Strick was elected Mayor for the City of Huntington by a margin of483 votes, taking home49.73 percent of the 4,142 votes cast for the mayoral candidates.
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VICTORIOUS: Strick raises a fist in the air after the results of the 2019 Municipal Election announced him as the mayor-elect for the City of Huntington.

by James Ehle - jehle@h-ponline.com

Independent candidate Richard Strick won the mayoral election for the City of Huntington by a margin of 483 votes, garnering nearly 50 percent of votes.

Mayor-elect Strick took 49.73 percent of the 4,142 votes cast for the mayoral candidates. Runner-up Larry Buzzard of the GOP took 38.07 percent with 1,577 votes, and Independent candidate Johnnie Hiles took 12.19 percent with 505 votes.

“I’m thrilled and so proud of this team because we set out to accomplish a goal and we hit on all cylinders and we were able to bring home a victory tonight,” said Strick in an interview with The Herald-Press. “I appreciate the blessing it is to be a part of this, I appreciate the field of candidates that all worked hard on this, and I appreciate the voters of Huntington putting their trust in me. I hope to deliver on that.”

Immediately following the final election results and a room full of cheers in the Strick campaign headquarters off of Jefferson Street, Strick addressed his supporters.

“This is our night and we’re going to celebrate because tomorrow brings new challenges with it and we know that,” Strick said. “Tomorrow is another day of work, and you’ve heard me say before, the reward for good work is more work.”

Strick told The Herald-Press he’s looking forward to getting to work on the challenges facing Huntington and hopes that the City can continue to help people working together.

“We need to put aside the intramurals and we need to get serious about the business of making this City as great as it can be,” Strick said.

Strick told the room of supporters that it was 12 years ago when he first told his wife Jenna that he should consider running for mayor.

“And here we are together tonight, celebrating the hard work of everyone in this room, and a whole lot of other folks in this community, and I just want to say thank you,” Strick said.

Strick credited over 90 volunteers, more than 145 donors, and the canvassing of over 3,700 homes of active voters in the community as a major part of his win. “We turned out the vote!”

The mayor-elect challenged supporters and the community as a whole to step up to help make the City of Huntington a better City for all.

“Malice toward none and charity toward all, we will strive to finish the work that we’ve begun this night,” Strick said. “And together we will keep believing in Hutnington. We will keep working for a better City for our families, for our children, and for our grandchildren.

“This City’s bigger than any one of us and so you better be ready to roll up your sleeves because we got a lot of work to do.”

Two other hot ticket items on the ballot which voters across Huntington County had the opportunity to vote on were the public questions from Huntington County Community School Corporation, including a referendum for Huntington North.

A proposed property tax increase which would have been used toward funding academic and educationally-related programs, managing class sizes, school safety initiatives, and attracting and retaining teachers was not passed by a margin of 53 voters.

A referendum for Huntington North High School with a cost of more than $68 million was not passed with only 43.26 percent of voters in support of the proposed property tax increase.

In the 2019 Municipal Election and County Wide Election a total of 9,418 voters or 38.7 percent of the 24,333 registered Huntington County voters cast their votes.

The other results from the election are as follows:

For Huntington City Clerk-Treasurer, Christi Scher McElhaney with 3521 votes, or 100 percent.

For City Council District 1 Huntington, Charles (Charlie) Chapman with 869 votes, or 100 percent.

For City Council District 2 Huntington, Paul L Pike with 488 votes, or 100 percent.

For City Council District 3 Huntington, Jerry Meehan Jr. with 42.72 percent, or 276 votes, Eric Bruce with 28.79 percent or 186 votes, and Richard Douglas Mills with 15.48 percent or 100 votes.

For City Council District 4 Huntington, David E Funk, with 685 votes or 100 percent.

For City Council District 5 Huntington, Joe Blomeke with 742 or 100 percent of votes.

For City Council At-Large Huntington, Seth T. Marshall with 51.22 percent, or 2728 votes.

For Clerk-Treasurer Andrews, Laury L Powell with 142 votes, or 100 percent.

For Town Council Member Andrews, Luara A Dillon with 32.2 percent of votes or 142 votes, Roger L Newsome Jr. with 27.66 percent or 122 votes.

For Town Council Member Markle, Nick Lund with 55.56 percent or 50 votes.

For Clerk-Treasurer Roanoke, Sarah L Milton, with 73.61 percent or 410 votes.

For Town Council Member Roanoke, Joan Abbott with 27.93 percent or 410 votes, David Meitzler with 27.25 percent or 400 votes, and Pamala A Parker with 23.98 or 352 votes.

For Clerk-Treasurer Warren, Marilyn Morrison with 296 votes, or 100 percent.

For Town Council Member Warren, Ethan Stivers with 35.35 percent or 245 votes, and Travis Surfus with 35.06 or 243 votes.

There were 645 Straight Party Republican votes and 1 straight party Democratic vote.

As voters exited the polls on election day, The Herald-Press asked what they would like to see for the future of the City of Huntington.

“I would like see my utilities go down, in the last eight years they’ve doubled,” said Paul Scalf of Huntington. “And I don’t like that, I don’t think the service is as good.”

Scalf also believes that debt is a major issue the City of Huntington will need to address for future generations.

“I don’t want to pass that onto my kids,” Scalf said. “We need to focus on what’s important instead of recreational activities.”

“Try to get these people off of drugs and out of jail and working and off of welfare,” said Debbie Spencer of Huntington. “Quit making the taxpayers pay for people who can’t make good decisions.”

“I love personally the revitalization of downtown over the last ten years,” said Logan Patterson of Huntington. “Since I came down here for college back in ‘07 it’s been considerable.”

Patterson says he hopes the City continues to invest in infrastructure and to find smart ways to utilize the City’s debt. He says he wants to see the City grow from a social and business standpoint.

“I’d like to see us be an attractive community for people who are not from here,” Patterson said. “We’re a City that’s aging and getting smaller.”

According to the Vote Centers of Huntington County, the count of early voters was 4,128 prior to election day, Nov. 5.

1,146 people showed up to cast their votes on election day as of 9 a.m. Tuesday, only three hours after all of the county’s polling locations opened for the day. By 11 a.m., the Vote Centers hit a 25 percent voter turnout across Huntington County with over 6,000 votes counted.

Comparatively, the 2015 Municipal Election saw 2,923 votes cast with a voter turnout percentage of only 24.85 percent.