Dems take Wards 1, 2

Josh Comer and Josh Comer

Celebratory cheers rang out from the Bowling Green Women’s Club last night as Wood County Democratic Party members celebrated City Council victories – but mourned the failure of state constitutional amendments they endorsed.

Gathered at the Club without cable television, Democrats monitored general election results on a computer.

Seeking the Ward 1 City Council position, Gordy Heminger awaited reports from those precincts alongside fellow party candidates.

Earlier in the day, Heminger campaigned until polls closed at 7:30 p.m. The response he received gave him confidence as he waited for voting results to be tallied, and the final hour efforts and confidence didn’t fail him.

The first win of the night for Democrats, Heminger’s victory came after 9 p.m. when all precincts reported that he won the City Council position, receiving 354 votes compared to 80 cast for Republican Ashley Harlett.

Surrounded by supporters, Heminger smiled during his victory announcement, took a well-earned breather, and began to spread the word via cell phone to friends and family.

“Right now, I’m just going to enjoy the victory,” Heminger said.

Confirmation of John Zanfardino’s Ward 2 City Council victory soon followed. He won with 459 votes to Republican Ashley Gilbert’s 254.

“We had a good last day of campaigning, calling people to get out the vote and spending a lot of time outside the polls,” Zanfardino said

Zanfardino enjoyed bringing a positive end to his campaign, and looked forward to picking up his guitar and playing a few chords before going back to work for the community.

“Tonight I’m going to play my guitar for the first time in three months,” Zanfardino said. “Running has been a 25 to 30 hour-a-week experience, going door-to-door.”

Those personal visits to residents of Ward 2 revealed a common concern about student and homeowner relations, which Zanfardino and Heminger intend to focus on first during their terms.

“The first thing I’m going to do is lay the groundwork to build a bridge between students and homeowners,” Heminger said. “Voters have showed that they think I can be a relay between those two groups.”

Zanfardino expressed an additional importance of addressing the library parking lot issue, where historic homes were torn down earlier this fall before a proposed lot had been approved.

“The preservation of the quirky pieces of architecture in Bowling Green is important,” Zanfardino said. “I’d like to further the idea of a [parking] garage.”

Bowling Green voters also elected democrat Council-at-Large candidate Larry Sorrells. Democrats greeted the announcement of his victory in the three-way race for the position with cheers.

In contrast to the sweep of local elections they enjoyed, Democrats saw the Reform Ohio Now state constitutional amendments they backed fall short of being implemented.

“They failed because people don’t understand what is needed for reform,” said Sandy Wicks, Bowling Green Democratic Party chairwoman. “The negative ads were overwhelming, but we have to keep trying.”