Ironton mayor race draws 4 candidates

Published 11:17 am Thursday, August 6, 2015

Municipal races this November will be a combination of new and familiar faces as veteran officeholders vie with political newcomers.

Ironton’s Mayor Rich Blankenship may be term limited, but that doesn’t mean he’s bidding goodbye to politics. On Wednesday, the last day to file, Blankenship turned in his petition to run for Ironton City Council.

With three seats up, nine want on council including two incumbents — Aaron Bollinger and Kevin Waldo; and two former members — Ralph “Butch” Huff and Charles “Chuck” O’Leary. Also seeking the seats are Brian Deer, Rick Massey, Charley Haney and Larry Wilson.

Former mayor Bob Cleary wants back in the leadership position and will face off against three others, two from city hall — Katrina Keith, city benefits specialist, former mayor Jim Tordiff and John David Willis, building and code enforcement officer. Election officials are gearing up for potential runoffs in both races if no one candidate gets 40 percent of the vote.

Proctorville Mayor Rick Dunfee has competition to win another term facing off against councilman Brian Root. Three want the two seats on council with veteran Dale Burcham running against Margie Whitley and Lee Whitley.

One incumbent who won’t be running is Chesapeake Mayor Dick Gilpin, who is stepping out of the race after serving two terms as the village’s leader. Wanting the top job are Tommy Templeton, Michael Ferguson and Alex Hackney. Wanting the two seats on council are Kenneth Wolfe and Randy Penix.

The son of longtime South Point Mayor Bill Gaskin wants his father’s old seat. This fall Jeff Gaskin will vie for mayor against Michael Curtis, David Classing, Bill Patrick and Rube Allman. Charles Austin, Jim Payne, Marlene Arthur and Michael Lynd want the two seats on council.

Longtime Coal Grove Mayor Larry McDaniel wants back in city hall and will face Eric Holmes who is currently on council. Frederick Roush, Nick McKnight and Joe Ross want on council where there are only two seats open.

The two villages with uncontested races are Athalia, where Gary Simpson will remain as mayor and William Ward will serve on council; and Hanging Rock with Chris Davidson to keep his mayor’s post and Kim Chinn will stay on council.

In both villages there are two seats up on council. With only one candidate filing in each race, the respective council will appoint the second member. If it fails to do so within 30 days of the vacancy, then the mayor appoints.