Two Bridgeport Village Council members currently suspended from office were re-elected by Bridgeport residents Tuesday.
David W. Smith and Benjamin Lenz, along with fellow incumbent Marvin Husarik and former Councilman David J. Coyne, received the most votes among seven candidates seeking election to one of the four seats on Tuesday's ballot.
Smith received the most votes at 261; Lenz, 257; Husarik, 253; and Coyne, 161. Among other candidates in the race, Vincent Gallagher captured 141 votes; Miki J. Clegg, 127; and H. James Brubach, also 127.
Smith and Lenz were suspended from council in August by County Probate Judge J. Mark Costine after a group of Bridgeport residents filed a lawsuit against them. The suit alleged the two men - also both members of the Bridgeport Fire and Emergency Squad - have repeatedly voted, as members of council, on matters pertaining to the emergency squad, including voting to hire themselves as EMTs.
Among those filing the lawsuit were Clegg, the granddaughter of Bridgeport Mayor John Callarik; Brubach; and the mayor's secretary, Ann Gallagher, also the wife of Vince Gallagher.
A court trial on the matter has been delayed by Costine pending the results of an investigation by the Ohio Ethics Commission.
"First and foremost, we want to thank our families, wives and children for enduring this grueling campaign," Smith said. "We anticipate getting back to doing the work of the people, and working as one council with the administration to move the village forward for the betterment of its citizens.
"We take it (the election victory) with gratitude and humility. There's a lot of work to get back to."
Other contested municipal races took place in Belmont County.
- In Barnesville, the four members elected to council were Scott O. Gallagher with 488 votes; Leslie A . Tickhill, 412; Tim McKelvey, 403; and Dale Bunting, 383. Brad Hudson had 318 votes; Tom Michelli, 298; and Tony C. Johnson, 294.
- In Bellaire, Mayor Vince DiFabrizio, a Democrat, was re-elected over Independent challengers Dan Brown and Ricky Parker. DiFabrizio received 432 votes; Parker, 264; and Brown, 210.
Elected to four seats on Bellaire Village council were Bob Koteles with 584 votes; Donald L. Maupin Jr.; 522; Josh Meyer, 479; and James Williams, 447. Nancy Raeder received 263 votes, and Vondi Cetorelli, 203.
- Elected to Bethesda Council were Paul M. Fitch with 149 votes; Brian J. Bee, 144; Linda Steadman, 129; and Carol A. Merritt, 122. Charles Little also received 102 votes; and Pete Chris Bendo, 100.
- Flushing residents elected four members of council - Dale E. Holmes with 118 votes; Sandra E. Twarog, 109; John J. Jozwiak Jr., 99; and Randall L. Twarog, 98. Bryan L. Clark received 96 votes.
- In Powhatan Point, voters selected four members to council. Victorious were Rob Caldwell with 226 votes; John T. Mitchell, 172; Jeffrey Haught, 169; and Joseph J. Binni, 159. Joe A. Asturi received 123 votes; and Samuel W. Armann, 90.
- In St. Clairsville, a race for president of council saw Terry Pugh elected over Timothy A. Porter by a vote of 635 to 503. Frank Sabatino won the 2nd Ward council seat over Geno L. Sessi, 202 to 164.
- In Shadyside, Robert Newhart was elected mayor over Ronald P. Kaluger Jr. and Edward Lynn Marling. Newhart received 543 votes; Marling, 496; and Kaluger, 161.
The six candidates elected to council were Tim Merryman with 947 votes; Robert N. Bell, 832; Timothy Johnson, 635; John A. Tipton II, 499; David M. Gazdik II, 482; and Gary A. Rodgers, 460. Greg Patrick Givens received 364 votes.
Three members of the Shadyside Board of Public Affairs also were elected Tuesday. Don Cruciotti captured 718 votes, R. Todd Schau, 608; and Terry L. Tipton, 539. David M. Stewart Sr. also received 384 votes.