August 27, 2014

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Commissioner Ted Kalo defeats challenger Phil Van Treuren

LORAIN — Amherst City Councilman Phil Van Treuren argued throughout his campaign that he worked harder than anyone else who’s ever run for Lorain County commissioner, but in the end it wasn’t enough.

Commissioner Ted Kalo, a Democrat, beat the Republican, Van Treuren, on Tuesday to win a third term.

According to unofficial election returns, Kalo took 67,898 votes, or 56 percent, to Van Treuren’s 52,988, or 44 percent.

“He and his supporters ran a good, clean race, and I congratulate him,” Van Treuren said at his Election Night party at an Amherst bowling alley. “I wish him the best. He earned his victory.”

Kalo, who had to defeat Carlisle Township Trustee Berry Taylor in the Democratic primary earlier this year, said he was relieved the election season was over.

“It’s been a long year between the primary and the general election,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed it as I always do.”

Kalo said he and Van Treuren ran far different campaigns. While Van Treuren focused on social media and targeted direct mailers, Kalo said he campaigned the old-fashioned way at events and talking to people about county issues.

“He ran a very aggressive social media campaign, and I think that helped him somewhat,” Kalo said.

Van Treuren was highly critical of Kalo throughout the race for hiring his campaign manager, Dennis Shawver, to serve as the county’s maintenance director and for renovating the commissioners’ offices. Both of those actions were in 2005 during Kalo’s first year in office.

Van Treuren also complained that Kalo had a tendency to do too much behind closed doors and promised to be more transparent if elected.

Kalo defended his record throughout the campaign, arguing that he’s been a good steward of county funds. He said it’s a job he intends to continue doing.

“Tomorrow we go back to work,” he said from a Democratic party at the Knights of Columbus in Lorain.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.