Martin elected Belpre Council President

BELPRE — Two contested races were featured on Tuesday’s primary ballot in Belpre, along with a single-ward vote which approved alcohol sales at a proposed restaurant.

Two people were running for Belpre Council President, both incumbent Republicans. Based on Tuesday’s unofficial results with all precincts reporting, Larry Martin defeated Donna Miller for the council president seat in a vote of 270-218.

Martin, who previously served on council representing the First Ward, was appointed to his current seat in 2019. He had just been elected to an At-Large seat on council and was then appointed to fill the council president vacancy.

Miller has served several terms as an At-Large member of council, from 2007 to the present and a two-year term in the 1970s.

“I’m excited to help the administration …. I’m excited to help the momentum keep going,” Martin said of the primary results.

While the current council will remain in office for seven more months, most of the seats will change with the new year in 2022. Martin said he would like to provide some continuity in the future.

Miller said she had hoped for a better turnout in Tuesday’s primary, which saw 488 total votes cast in the race, but said the last year has been hard for the community with the Belpre City Building closed for months. Council has continued to meet electronically during the past year but Belpre is an older community and Miller said she has been concerned about that impact. After serving out her current term, she plans to remain active in the community in the future.

“I guess it’s in my blood, I care about the city,” she said.

Two people also were running on the Republican ballot for the city auditor’s post, currently held by Leslie Pittenger. The candidates were Alison Holland and Tina M. Nolan.

Tuesday’s primary race ended with Nolan defeating Holland, 255 to 236 votes.

“I’m excited, I’m ecstatic, I’m overwhelmed by feeling blessed by the family and friends who supported me,” Nolan said.

Nolan, who was making her first run for public office, said she wants to continue the 12 years of good work Pittenger has put in as Belpre’s auditor and thanked her for her work.

One pierson was running for city treasurer, Republican Jackie Cassady, for the office currently held by Linda Copeland. Cassady received 425 votes in her unopposed race.

Two Republicans have filed for the three open At-Large seats, current incumbent David Ferguson and newcomer John W. Ruth. Ferguson received 331 votes in Tuesday’s primary followed by Ruth with 259.

At the present time, the third At-Large seat will be vacant when the current term ends at the end of 2021. Republican Judith Drake currently holds the third seat not filled by Ferguson or Miller,

In the other unopposed Republican races, Floyd Alan Milhone received 77 votes in the First Ward race. The seat is currently held by Bill Locke.

John McClead received 77 votes in the Second Ward race. Elmer Lee Shutts currently represents the Second Ward.

Lyndsay Dennis received 126 votes in the Third Ward race, currently filled by Timothy Gant.

No Republican filed for the Fourth Ward seat in Tuesday’s primary. The ward is currently represented by Penne Riffle.

In the Fourth Ward, voters approved the permitted sale of beer, wine and mixed beverages, and spirituous liquor by a proposed restaurant by a vote of 141 for to 53 against. They also approved for Sunday sales of the same (between 11 a.m. and midnight) for the same location by a vote of 135-58.


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