By Okon Ekpenyong
It was a big election night for the cities of Gahanna, Reynoldsburg, and Whitehall, with candidates from both cities achieving success on the ballot.
Gahanna’s Merisa Bowers was re-elected as city council for her second term, and she will be joined in the council seat by newly elected Jamille Jones, a long-time community member. Nancy Mcgregor will also serve alongside Jones and Bowers on the council seat. Bowers states that Jones’s voice, kindness, and commitment will serve the city of Gahanna residents well.
Priya Tamilarasan’s election as Gahanna City Attorney is a historic moment for the Central Ohio community, shattering glass ceilings and inspiring future generations by becoming the first Asian-American to hold this esteemed position. This momentous occasion is a testament to her hard work, dedication, and commitment to justice. Her election sets an inspiring example for all minorities and is a step towards a more diverse and inclusive community.
Bowers also noted that the newly elected city attorney will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role, serving as an unwavering advocate, advisor, and counselor for the city. Tamilarasan’s intellectual prowess, strong work ethic, and steadfast commitment to protecting and advancing Gahanna will ensure the community’s safety, fairness, and financial security.
“What an amazing outcome last night! I feel proud, humbled, and grateful for my team, fellow candidates, and community. We had a well-designed plan, took a strategic and thoughtful approach, and executed it efficiently. We ran on principles and policies, and we stood by our purpose,” said Councilmember Merisa Bowers.
Beryl Piccolantonio is once again the city’s school board president, and Daphne Moehring, who has been serving since 2016, will stay on the board.
In Reynoldsburg, Meredith Lawson-Rowe won her second term as council president and will be joined by re-elected council members Shanette E. Strickland, Bhuwan Pyakurel, and Louis M. Salvati. Erin Hill will be a new addition to the council, having won her first election to serve under Lawson-Rowe. Mayor Joe Begeny and City Attorney Chris Shook ran unopposed and won their respective positions.
Council President-elect Lawson-Rowe expressed her joy and excitement after being elected as the new council president of Reynoldsburg. She said, “I am incredibly honored and humbled to be given this opportunity to serve my community in this capacity. I look forward to working hard and positively impacting the lives of those I serve.”
Newly elected Whitehall City Council member Amy Hummer Harcar has seen first-hand how the influx of immigrants has positively impacted Whitehall. She hopes to create more initiatives to help build bridges between immigrant and non-immigrant communities and provide resources to help new Americans become more self-sufficient and successful.
Meanwhile, the city’s attorney, Michael Bivens, made history, becoming the first African American mayor-elect in Whitehall.
Overall, the election was an exciting moment for all three cities. The newly elected officials vowed to bring their diverse viewpoints and experiences to the council, city administration, and communities.
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