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MELISSA MACKEY

Staff Writer

Incumbent Richard Cline, as well as newcomers Jon Bennehoof and Mike Crites, snagged the election bids for three open seats on Powell City Council.

Cline was the lone council member seeking his seat after sitting council members Don Grubbs and Art Schultz (who also currently serves as Powell mayor) did not file for re-election.

As of deadline Tuesday, the three each grabbed up votes. Cline was the top vote-getter with 2,150 votes (29.99 percent); Crites, 1,824 votes (25.44 percent); and Bennehoof, 1,649 votes (23 percent). Trent Hartranft took 1,546 votes (21.57 percent), according to complete, but unofficial results.

Cline, 56, plans on finding a funding source for the capital improvements plan in Powell.

“I am very pleased the voters have returned me to the city,” said Cline, a practicing attorney and 16-year councilman. “I’d like to thank all of the supporters and those who voted for me, and especially my wife, Nora. Without her, I couldn’t do it.”

Cline spent 25 years in the National Guard as an officer providing legal services to soldiers, retiring as a major in 2003, and previously served in a part-time capacity as the municipal court prosecutor for Powell, as a village, from 1984 to 1986. Before being elected to council, Cline served in an appointed position on the city’s parks and recreation advisory board from 1995 to 1996.

Cline earned two bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and political science from Kent State University in 1977 and his law degree from The Ohio State University in 1981.

Crites, a 20-year Powell resident was pleased with the election results, he said.

“I look forward to working with council members and moving Powell forward,” Crites said. “We have some very sticky challenges facing us in the years to come.”

Crites, 63, currently serves as a partner with Dinsmore law firm in Columbus and has contract positions as law director for Granville and Commercial Point in Pickaway County. Previously, Crites was a U.S. District Attorney under presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush; president of the Olentangy School Board from 1993 to 1997; law director in Hilliard and Pataskala; and the first assistant prosecuting attorney in Delaware County.

An eight-year resident, Bennehoof, 62, could not be reached for comment as of the paper’s deadline.

During the election process, Bennehoof’s priorities said his priorities are fiscal responsibility, collaborative government and equitable representation.

Bennehoof has a 40-year information technology career; was a program management executive; business transformation executive; and previously worked as the deputy chief information officer for the Department of Taxation for three years.

Bennehoof earned his bachelor’s of business administration in management with a minor in economics from Youngstown State University in 1980 and a master’s degree in organizational development from St. Michael’s College.

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