Cramblit seeks to continue infrastructure projects

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 25, 2023

Mayor hopes to work on recreation opportunities in second term

“You did a great job,” Ironton Mayor Sam Cramblit II said to challenger Amanda Cleary, hugging her immediately after election results were announced Tuesday night.

Ironton Mayor Sam Cramblit II hugs challenger Amanda Cleary at the Lawrence County Board of Elections on Tuesday, after results were announced that he had won re-election to a second term. (The Ironton Tribune | Heath Harrison)

After two days of voting in the mayoral runoff, Cramblit defeated Cleary, 52.7-47.3 percent.

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Results came about a half hour after voting, with both candidates awaiting them at the Lawrence County Board of Elections office in Ironton, where Randy Lambert, of the board, announced the winner.

Cramblit, who will be starting his second term as mayor, ran against Cleary, executive director of nonprofit Third and Center, in a crowded field of five candidates, which also included city council member Chris Perry, Ohio state treasurer field representative Kelly Greco-Smith and deacon and former council member Hugh Scott.

Cramblit led in Election Day results, but, at 34.86 percent of the vote, did not reach the 40 percent threshold to avoid a runoff and faced second place finisher Cleary, who won 30.21 percent, in this week’s election.

Amanda Cleary and supporters wait for results of the Ironton mayoral runoff election on Tuesday at the Lawrence County Board of Elections. (The Ironton Tribune | Heath Harrison)

Cramblit, who said his nerves were on edge as he awaited results, said he can now finally think beyond the election. 

Cramblit won 1.096 votes to Cleary’s 984. 

Turnout was 29.49 percent of voters, slightly lower than the last mayoral runoff election, which took place in 2016, in which Katrina Keith defeated Bob Cleary. Turnout in that election was 31.43 percent.

Cramblit said he was “grateful to all my supporters.”

“Anything and everything anyone did to help our campaign and our cause made a difference,” he said, thanking those who made calls, placed yard signs and knocked on doors. “In an election this close, everything makes a difference.”

When asked about priorities for his second term, Cramblit said to continue with infrastructure work.

“To complete and continue work on projects we have going on,” he said. “That was not just a campaign slogan. There is a lot at stake and the job is not finished.”

Cramblit said he would also like to put a focus on parks and recreation.

“Our goal, and by that I mean me and the council, is to improve quality of life of our community for everybody,” he said, stating that with infrastructure work whether finished or scheduled, there is now a greater opportunity.

Cramblit also congratulated the other candidates who ran for mayor this year.

“She ran a great campaign,” he said of Cleary. “And all those who stuck it out through hard, long campaign season. I look forward to working with all these individuals.”

Cleary expressed her appreciation to supporters in a Facebook post. 

“I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the incredible individuals who supported our campaign,” she wrote. “While the outcome may not have been what we had hoped for, I am immensely proud of the movement we were able to create and the positive impact we made on our beloved city.”

Cleary pledged to continue her work with the nonprofit she founded.

“Although I may not hold the title of mayor, my commitment to bettering our community remains unwavering,” she said. “I look forward to continuing my efforts through the non-profit organization, Third and Center. Together, we will build a stronger, more inclusive community that we can all be proud of.”