Local businessman Ben Smith has been elected to serve as the next mayor of Butler.
Smith took an early lead over Democrat Jamie Lee Goehring, ending with 60 percent of the vote (1,283 votes) to Goehring’s 34.5 percent (736 votes). There were 113 write-in votes, or five percent.
After his victory, Smith applauded Goehring’s efforts and talked about the respectful campaign they both ran.
“Jamie and I both respect each other and I think a lot of voters saw that,” he said. “I really appreciated the way she treated me as a fellow human being trying to do good things. That’s the way I tried to treat her as well.”
Current Butler Mayor Tom Donaldson ran for re-election but lost in the primary and wasn’t on Tuesday’s ballot.
“I’m glad I was able to get out there, meet and talk with a lot of citizens,” Smith said. “I’m hoping I can live up to the things they expect from me.”
In the Butler City Council race, incumbent Democrat Ken Bonus and Republican challenger Jeff Smith will fill the two open seats, defeating longtime council member Kathy Kline and newcomer James Kemple. Kline was running for her fourth consecutive term.
Absentee ballots are included in these numbers, but provisional ballots are not. All results are unofficial until certified by the Butler County Election Board.