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Voters send Blankenship to Ironton mayor#8217;s office

There was a lot of talk about moving Ironton forward, but only one man could take the position of mayor of Ironton.

And the voters picked City Councilman Rich Blankenship.

At the Lawrence County Courthouse on Tuesday, Blankenship said he was overwhelmed by the victory. He won with 46 percent of the vote with a total of 1,660.

As for the political race, Blankenship said he was glad it was over.

“I can’t wait to get to work for the people of Ironton,” he said. “I am looking forward to working with the new city council and I want to keep Ironton moving forward.”

The next highest vote getter was city councilmen Bob Cleary with 1,209 votes which is 33.5 percent. Bob Vaughn got 391 votes (11 percent), Walt Butler with 195 (5 percent) and write-in candidate Leonard Battise with 153 votes (4 percent).

Blankenship said the biggest issues facing the city was “working together, the council, the employees and the citizens. That is what I’m going to strive for- to join us together.”

He said the city needs more jobs and “I’m going to do the best I can and work 110 percent for the city of Ironton.”

When the campaign began, Blankenship said there were many things he would do if elected mayor, including trying to be open to the public and their ideas and being fiscally responsible. He said when it comes to balancing the budget, the answer is to be fiscally conservative and to be accountable and responsible to what the city purchases. He said the city must enforce the city codes to clean up the dilapidated buildings.

For the past seven years, Blankenship has worked as an investigator with Children’s Services. He said he would have to resign the position.

He will be sworn in on Dec. 1.

Cleary will now hold the title of vice-mayor and council chairman since in the last election he had the highest number of votes.