LENNY C. LEPOLA
For the Gazette
On Tuesday, Sunbury voters elected Tommy Hatfield to a four-year term as Sunbury mayor, beginning Jan. 1, 2012. Hatfield ran against incumbent Len Weatherby, who has served as Sunbury’s mayor for the past 17 years.
With all four precincts counted, Hatfield won handily, garnering 886 votes to Weatherby’s 616 votes, a nearly 18 percent advantage.
“I’m worn out,” Hatfield said when contacted at home late Tuesday evening. “Everything is very surreal right now. I worked real hard through the whole campaign, but all day today I had no clue which way the election would go.
“I did a lot of reflecting today,” Hatfield continued. “In many ways I felt good because I knew I did all I could do to get elected, but you never know until the votes are in and counted.”
Hatfield, who worked closely with Weatherby during his time on the council dais, said the mayor has done a great job for the village.
“I learned a lot working with Len,” Hatfield said. “He’s such a great guy who really did everything for the best interests of the people of Sunbury.”
Tommy Hatfield is familiar to area voters both at the dais and as a member of the community. He and his wife Jackie have three children in Big Walnut schools. They’re active members of Sunbury Christian Church, and he has worked for 23 years as an area manager for AT&T’s project management department.
Hatfield has been a member of Sunbury Village Council for six years. For the past four years he has been selected to sit as council president, a distinction unprecedented in recent memory. At the dais, he’s known for a calm demeanor, and for being a levelheaded peacemaker when tempers flare.
During the campaign, Hatfield said he believed that serving on council and then as village mayor is a natural progression; that both positions are about working collectively for the benefit of the village and its residents. Sunbury is growing, he said, and with that growth comes both responsibilities and opportunities, especially working with businesses that already exist in the village, or want to locate in the village.
Hatfield said balancing work, family and church activities and politics has helped him develop the effective organizational skills needed both on council and as Sunbury’s mayor.