Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that town council candidates will not appear on the fall ballot as a result of the town convention.
ETNA GREEN — After an hour-long convention, approximately 60 people voted on Tuesday, Aug. 20, for three Republican candidates to appear on the fall ballot for town council.
Jason Hanes, Susan Klinefelter, and Keith Claassen were the top three winners of the convention among eight Republican candidates who had filed. Claassen is the only incumbent among them who will appear on the fall ballot.
Other candidates included Christopher Carter, Beverly A. Carter, Aaron Bakian, Kevin Smith II, and Cory D. Ellinger. Smith and Ellinger are incumbents on the town council.
Each candidate delivered a short speech before voting began.
However, in his speech, Smith told voters that he would not seek re-election, essentially withdrawing his name from the race.
“I’ve been on the town council for almost four years,” said Smith. “I love this town and I’m part of the first responders and fire department. However, these last four years have really opened my eyes as to what the town council does. It takes so much hard work by dedicated people to keep this town running. I am not asking for your votes as I’m not going for re-election. What I am going to ask is that you seriously look at all of these candidates and really consider who will be best to help the town grow.”
Hanes was the first candidate to address voters at the convention.
“I love Etna Green and I moved here for a reason,” said Hanes. “Etna Green has done really well if you look at other small towns that are nearby. I really don’t believe this town has any problems. What I do believe is that most of the people here are here to do good for their town.”
Claassen’s speech focused on continuing to improve the town.
“I’ve lived here since I was 11 years old,” said Claassen. “This town has really improved over time and I’d like to see that continue. That’s been my whole goal on all of the decisions I’ve made. It’s not just what I want but what I think the whole town wants. We have not raised rates on utilities for a number of years and I want to continue to help the town stay in good shape and keep it growing.”
In her speech, Klinefelter discussed her work experience and asked voters to consider that when making their decisions.
“I’ve lived in Etna Green most of my life,” said Klinefelter. “And I would be happy to serve you all on the town council.”
After voting, the final results were written on a chalkboard, with Hanes winning the most votes. The following votes are listed in the order written on the chalkboard.
- Christopher Carter – 13
- Susan Klinefelter – 30
- Aaron Bakian – 20
- Beverly Carter – 4
- Keith Claassen – 28
- Kevin Smith II – 5
- Cory Ellinger – 27
- Jason Hanes – 32
The town conventions were needed after the towns chose not to have a primary election and ended up having numerous Republicans file for office. State election law limits each political party to one candidate for clerk-treasurer and three candiates for council on the fall ballot.
There are no Democrats running for town council and council race won’t be on the Nov. 5 ballot, meaning the three winners from Tuesday are assured of taking office on Jan. 1.
In the race for Etna Green Clerk-Treasurer, Republican Patricia Cook (incumbent) will face Democrat Amanda “Mandy” Ewing.