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Published: Wednesday, 5/4/2005

Election narrows area council races

The battle for city council seats in three northwest Ohio cities just became a little tighter, beginning with a campus contest between a student and a school employee.

The Democratic battle for Bowling Green's First Ward is now down to two contenders, with Bowling Green State University employee Gordy Heminger trouncing student Nathan Nickens. Mr. Heminger, 28, was twice elected to Maumee City Council as a BGSU undergraduate. He resigned his seat in 1999 to take a job with his fraternity, Alpha Sigma Phi, then returned to BGSU to study for a master's degree.

A homeowner in the First Ward, Mr. Heminger is interim coordinator of student organization services at the university.

"My whole platform was to bridge the gap between students and permanent residents," Mr. Heminger said. "I think that really resonated with people."

Mr. Heminger will face another BGSU student - Republican Ashley Harlett, a sophomore from St. Marys, Ohio - in November.

In Findlay, the first of two primary races for city council, Republican incumbent R. Ronald Monday defeated neophyte challenger Billy J. Anderson, Jr.

Since Mr. Monday faces no Democratic challenger for the Fourth Ward seat, he is assured the position.

As for three at-large seats, incumbents Andy Peters, James P. Slough, and Randy C. Ward were the top three Republican vote-getters in an extraordinarily tight race. Challenger Andrew Douglas, also a Republican, lost by just over 100 votes.

The incumbents will appear on the November ballot with Democrat challenger Kevin Crook.

In Napoleon, five Republicans competed for four council seats. Challenger Ronald Behm and incumbents Glen Miller, Travis Sheaffer, and Steven Small beat out challenger Kevin Garringer. Since no Democrats filed, the four are assured their places in public service.

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