November 22, 2014

Elyria
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Political newcomer Siwierka top vote-getter in Elyria at-large race

ELYRIA — Mary Siwierka proved in May that she is a political force to be reckoned with and on Tuesday she once again showed her popularity in the city by capturing the distinction of being the top vote-getter among the nine candidates seeking at-large Council seats.

A Democratic newcomer, Siwierka bested incumbent Democrat Councilmen Mike Lotko, Vic Stewart and Tom Callahan to finish first in her inaugural bid for an elected office. She received 6,608 or 15.8 percent of the vote, according to unofficial election results.

The other at-large winners were Lotko, who received 6,088 votes or 14.6 percent, Callahan at 5,865 votes or 14 percent and Stewart with 5,731 or 13.7 percent of the vote, according to unofficial election results.

Naturally, it was a happy night at Siwierka’s Fresno Court home, where she celebrated her victory with family and friends.

“My plan is to work hard at this job and earn the respect and confidence of the voters,” she said after a champagne toast. “This is much honored public service for me.”

Hear Siwierka in her own words:

First-time candidates rarely choose citywide at-large races to make their political debut, but with the backing of friends, family and scores of campaign veterans from the days when Siwierka was administrative assistant to former Mayor Michael Keys, she said she made the decision to run to prove she could do it.

“People know me and know what I’ve done in the past and what I am capable of doing,” she said.

Beyond champagne, Siwierka also cut into a cake adorned with number candles to spell out the year 2012. That is the year Mayor Bill Grace will be up for re-election and could serve as a hint as to Siwierka’s future political plans.

She won’t answer that question directly, though.

“We’ll see,” she said.

Siwierka will not be the only new face on the City Council in January.

Democrat Marcus Madison, a 22-year-old also making his maiden voyage into politics, won against write-in candidate Tom Aden to secure the 5th Ward seat. Madison received 683 votes or 83 percent while Aden received 139 votes or 17 percent, according to unofficial results.

Destined to be the youngest member of Council, Madison said he will focus on ensuring basic city services like police and fire are properly funded in the city. In addition, he said it will be his mission to remove the stigma associated with the 5th Ward and bring a sense of community to the neighborhood.

Madison will be joined by former city employee and Democrat candidate Jerry McHugh, who bested independent Ed Sinegar for the 7th Ward seat. Both men ran for the seat after longtime Councilman Ken Burkhard elected to retire at the end of this current term.

McHugh received 994 votes or 51 percent, while Sinegar garnered 958 votes or 49 percent, according to unofficial results.
Incumbent Council members Forrest Bullocks, D-2nd Ward, Garry Gibbs, R-3rd Ward, Mark Craig, I-4th Ward, and Donna Mitchell, D-6th Ward each won their races and will return to Council in 2010.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.