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Election Brings Changes to River Cities

Tuesday's election brought with it sweeping change in the River City Metro.

Half the city commission in Covington was replaced, a new mayor was elected in Dayton, Bellevue will have three new members of council and so will Ludlow. After months of campaigning, sometimes with the utmost unpleasantness, the make-up of the government in the River Cities will look much different than it does today.

In Covington, Mayor Sherry Carran will have two new members of the city commission to work with. Newcomer Jordan Huizenga and longtime neighborhood activist Bill Wells snagged seats, finishing second and third, sandwiched by top vote-getter and incumbent Steve Frank and incumbent Chuck Eilerman who finished first and fourth.

"I am humbled and honored to have your support for Covington Commission," Huizenga posted to Facebook. "I pledge to work every day to make this community a better place. I am excited to work with this group of commissioners and the rest of our community to create a Covington we can all be proud of."

Incumbents Michelle Williams and Midlred Rains were defeated in their bids for reelection. Challengers Warner Allen and Christi Blair also came up short.

The most contentious election cycle was in Dayton where incumbent Mayor Ken Rankle faced a challenge from City Councilman Virgil Boruske. Rankle went down in defeat and took some of his more passionately supportive council candidates with him, including longtime incumbent Cathy Volter. Boruske handily won the mayor's seat and will be joined at the city building by newly elected council members Ben Baker, Joe Neary, and Joseph Tucker who finished in the top three. Incumbent Bill Burns, challenger Denny Lynn, and incumbent Jerry Gifford took the final three spots.

Virgil Boruske speaks after his victory (Still shot from Facebook video)

"We're gonna move the city forward like I said when I was running," Boruske said, "we're gonna get it going and get it rolling again, straighten up the police department, and go forward with the industrial park."

Bellevue Mayor Ed Riehl won another term leading that city, fending off a challenge from City Council member Carol Rich. The city council will also look different in January with Rich gone, Kathy Almoslechner retiring, and incumbent Bill Helton losing his reelection bid on Tuesday. Incumbents Steve Guidugli and Matt Olliges led the pack and will be joined by newcomers Ryan Salzman and Melissa Tatum and incumbent Rodney Poynter.

Ludlow Mayor Ken Wynn ran unopposed for reelection and all three members of the city council that sought reelection this year will be back at the city building. Josh Boone, Tom Amann, and Bill Mullins all won another two-year term and will be joined by newcomers Dan Ashcraft, Michelle Cartwright, and Bill Whiteley.

Eric Haas will take over as mayor of Fort Thomas where he will be joined by a city council made up of Jeff Bezold, Ken Bowman, Roger Peterman, Lisa Kelly, John Muller, and Adam Meier.

Newport and Taylor Mill saw its entire city commissions returned to office. 

In the school board races in the River Cities, it was a mixed night for the incumbents. Covington Board of Education members Julie Geisen Scheper and Jerry Avery were reelected, defeating retired teacher Diane Brumback. Bellevue's Jenny Swope Hazeres, Daniel Swope, and Dan Sparks were reelected, beating Jon Cullick. In Newport, incumbent Ramona Malone was reelected but fellow board member Shaun Michael Thacker was not. Matthew Scott took the second seat available, knocking Thacker to third in a crowded field of seven candidates. An incumbent was also defeated in Ft. Thomas. Scott Johnson finished fourth in a field of five. The three winners were incumbents Lisa Duckworth, Bradley Fennell, and challenger John Weyer.

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