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Ex-police chief leads for mayor in 1st attempt at political office

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With 80 percent of the votes counted, retired Perrysburg Police Chief Nelson Evans was easily leading Councilman Tom Mackin in the mayoral race late last night.

"I worked for the city for 25 years," Mr. Evans said of the nearly 60 percent of the votes he had received. "People got to know me."

Mr. Evans, a Republican running for political office for the first time, retired as police chief in September, 2003, after a 25-year career with the department that he said gave him a unique perspective on the strains that growth puts on city services.

He retired several months after then-Mayor Jody Holbrook failed to invite the police chief to the groundbreaking ceremony for the city's new police station.

Mr. Holbrook claimed it was a simple oversight, but the incident occurred shortly after city police arrested the mayor's son on drug charges.

Mr. Evans works for Northwest Controls, an electrical supply company based in Defiance. As mayor, Mr. Evans said he would look for ways to improve communication among city departments, as well as addressing the effects of growth on services.

Mr. Mackin, an attorney in Perrysburg, is serving his second term on city council and chairs the service-safety committee. He has previously chaired the finance and the health, sanitation, and public utilities committees.

As a councilman whose term ends in 2007, he said that he would continue to address fiscal responsibility, growth and development, and services.

"I'm looking forward to working with Nelson," he said.

In a closer council race, with 80 percent of the votes counted, incumbents Maria Ermie and Joe Lawless appeared likely to be re-elected - Ms. Ermie to her second term and Mr. Lawless to his third.

Business owner Michael Olm-stead appeared to have been elected to his first political office.

In the six-way race, Ms. Ermie received more than 20 percent of the votes. Ms. Ermie said she has helped promote sound business practices in the city.

Mr. Lawless has led renovations to Municipal Park and the upcoming development of Rotary Park.

The battle for the next two spots was tight. Mr. Olmstead was narrowly leading incumbent John Kevern, who was running for his second term.

Mr. Olmstead, who owns PTC Physical Therapy Consultants in Perrysburg, said city government should have a more business-like approach.

Matthew Hawkins and John Strouse were fifth and sixth with 20 percent of the votes uncounted.

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