Wednesday, November 5, 2003

3 Clermont villages get new mayors

New Richmond incumbent beats challenger

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

Two Clermont County villages elected new mayors Tuesday night, while in two other villages, voters backed a sitting mayor and ousted another.

In Batavia, John Thebout, 57, a council member with 12 years' experience, defeated Anthony Thomas, 45, a council member with eight years' experience. The tally was 246 to 192.

The two were competing to replace Robert Handra as mayor, who is leaving the post for personal reasons after five years in office.

"I read his campaign literature and agree with what he proposes," said Sandi Reichard, 54, of Batavia, who voted for Thebout.

Thebout said most of the voters he talked to felt he was the most qualified candidate.

"They're putting their trust in me and believe what I told them," he said. "We've got a lot of work to do. There are some new council members, and I'm looking forward to working with them."

In the village of Bethel, Paul David Hency, 55, a locksmith and eight-year council member, lost to David W. Simpson, 48, owner of Simpson Security.

Simpson will replace Judy Spiller, who is retiring after five years as mayor.

And in New Richmond, incumbent Mayor Terry Durrette, 51, a small-business owner, defeated challenger John Feiler, 47, who is self-employed in television production.

Durrette won with 325 votes to 223 for Feiler.

"It was a good day, and we had a pretty good turnout," Durrette said. "It was a good race, and we'll all move on from here. I'm looking forward to four more years."

Durrette said he saw the vote as an endorsement of the direction the village has been headed and that he hoped to continue the work he and the Village Council have been doing.

In Newtonsville, Shandra Doughman, a homemaker, unseated incumbent Mayor Don Pringle, 68, an engineering consultant. She took 46 votes to 30 for Pringle. David DeBruler, 51, received 28 votes.

In the tiny southern Clermont County town of Chilo, the race for mayor ended in a tie. George Seale and Shana Stevenson each had 21 votes, triggering an automatic recount.

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