By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Challenger Pat Moeller led three incumbent Hamilton City Council members competing for three seats in Tuesday's election in complete, but unofficial, returns.
Christopher Flaig, Richard Holzberger and George McNally were seeking another two-year term on council. They were being challenged by Moeller, Mathew Ellis and Robert Weber.
Moeller had 25 percent of the votes; Flaig had 21 percent; McNally had 17 percent; Holzberger had 15 percent; Weber had 11 percent; and Ellis had 10 percent with all 44 precincts reporting.
McNally, a former Hamilton police chief, has served on council for 18 years; Holzberger, a former Butler County sheriff, for eight years, and Flaig for two years.
City council has made economic development its top priority. Hamilton, like many older industrial cities, has struggled economically as manufacturing jobs have vanished.
Hamilton is working hard to recruit new businesses and to retain its existing ones. To attract high-tech businesses with good-paying jobs, the city is developing a fiber-optic system that will connect with Butler County's 100-mile network.
In the early returns in the race for three Middletown City Council at-large seats, incumbents Bob Wells and Laura Williams and challenger Fred Sennet were leading a field of six candidates.
With votes still being counted in the Fairfield City Council race, incumbent Mike Snyder was leading former Fairfield Mayor Robert Wolpert in Ward 1, 60 percent to 40 percent. Incumbent Marty Judd was leading incumbent Jeff Holtegel, Donald Hassler, and Betty Kellum, for the Ward 2 seat.
Mitch Rhodus was winning the Ward 3 council seat, which is being relinquished by Ron D'Epifanio, who will run for an Ohio House seat next year. Rhodus had 52 percent of the votes; Debbie Pennington, 40 percent; and Keith Davis, 8 percent. Incumbent Steve Miller was leading incumbent Charles Klosterman for the Ward 4 seat, 70 percent to 30 percent.
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ELECTION 2003: HAMILTON COUNTY
Zoo's vote elephant-sized
North Bend votes to remain village
Two of three voters stayed home
Voters consider pace of growth
Activists lead for Loveland council
2 school levies approved
Delhi changes trustee lineup
Williams appears victor in Norwood
Polling places not always par for course
Voters keep school board
ELECTION 2003: OHIO, INDIANA
Crone likely to return to Fairfield school board
Moeller leads Hamilton race
Children Services levy OK'd
Outlook bleak for money for schools, except Lebanon
Outsider, insider win W. Clermont
Clermont County voters return incumbent judges
3 Clermont villages get new mayors
Clermont MRDD vote in dead heat
Clermont voting down growth projects
Early returns show Kings school board may change
New faces join Mason and Lebanon city councils
Speidel advances over Morand in Deerfield Twp. trustee race
Write-in Columbus mayor's only foe
'Yes' to casino
ELECTION 2003: KENTUCKY
Stumbo survives caustic campaign to become AG
Krey remains property valuator
City passes tax on autos
Few problems in state voting
State losses new for Democrats
Ambulance levy voted down in Bromley
State victory by Grayson, 31, gives N. Ky., GOP clout
IN THE TRISTATE
Babies, movies find harmony
Parents push for new ball fields
Roselawn man held on robbery charge
Priest took charity money
Man killed in Avondale parking lot
Restaurant plans hometown feel
Rare disease leaves teen in need of liver transplant
Warren balks at money request
Franklin merger to be studied
Howard: Good Things Happening
Stella Harper worked for civil rights causes
John Wesley Seay began service to church at 9
200 more prison guards not enough, union says
Record high to be just a memory
Bar owners sue to stop smoking ban
Kentucky News Briefs
Kenton go-to guy looks for solutions
Truancy charge in the past