Seville’s mayoral race was decided by a mere six votes in one of the closest elections Tuesday in Medina County.
Carol A. Carter, the challenger, nipped incumbent Mayor Eugene W. Sulzener, 404 votes to 398, according to unofficial county board of elections results. If the results hold up, she will be sworn in Jan. 1 as mayor.
Carter, who was Seville’s mayor in 2010 and 2011, received 50.37 percent of the vote, compared with Sulzener’s 49.63 percent.
“I’m still hoping that the six votes stick,” she said. “There will be a recount. It won’t be official until Nov. 24. If I was on the other end of it, I’d want a recount.”
Carter, 65, said she lost the 2012 mayoral election to Sulzener by 25 votes.
“We ran an honest and above-board race,” she said. “I’m a hard worker and honest person. I love Seville.”
She admits she’s old school.
“I’m a woman who is not afraid to say what needs to be said,” Carter said.
“I’m not a politician. I’m an elected official.”
She said she wants to bring the village back to the residents.
“That’s been lacking — staying in touch with residents and organizations — and attending the meetings,” Carter said. “I want the connection and accessibility. I want you to know you’ll have my ear. I will listen.
“I believe in Seville. I want it to continue to be a great place to live. I want people to know they have a voice and a mayor who will listen.”
Carter also has served on village council, as an administrator for the Seville Chamber of Commerce and as a director on the Seville Historical Society.
“My goal is to give a part-time mayor’s position a full-time presence, (with) visibility and community involvement,” she said before the election.
Sulzener, 59, has been mayor the last four years.
“I’m extremely sad,” he told The Gazette on Wednesday. “Obviously, in the campaign (literature), I listed new goals and achievements. I have no explanation why that would be meaningless to 50 percent of the voters. I’m very frustrated that people haven’t looked at the last four years and seen the achievements and not appreciated them.”
He said he has the ability to request a recount. For now, he’ll remain in limbo until Nov. 24.
“I’ll just wait it out,” Sulzener said. “That’s all I can do.”
In a strange quirk in balloting in Seville, there were 905 votes cast for candidates for the village’s Board of Public Affairs, yet only 802 people voted in the mayor’s race.
In other contested village races:
Seville Village Council
Leslie A. Miller has been on council for 16 of the previous 20 years. She’ll continue that run after Tuesday’s election. Miller, 68, ran away with one of the council seats with 612 votes.
Write-in candidate Sue A. Frey earned the second seat on council with 89 votes. Bobbie Anderson, another write-in candidate, finished third with 38 votes.
“I’m not done yet,” Miller said recently. “There are still many grants out there available for the village. There are still some things on my bucket list.”
Miller was the chair of the safety committee, sat on the finance and government committees, and has been an alternate on the parks and street department.
Frey, 59, served on village council for 16 years — from 1992 through 2007. She is a retired dental assistant.
Danny R. DeRossett won his second term as Spencer’s mayor in a landslide over village council President Jim Stangel, 125 votes to 72.
“I thought I had enough support, but you never know what the voters are going to do,” DeRossett said. “I’m excited. I get another few years to try to get everything stabilized around here. I’m looking forward to it.”
He was appointed mayor in 2013 after former Mayor Tom Ramey died.
“Upon his death, I assumed the mayor position,” DeRossett said. “I was council president at the time.”
DeRossett, 67, was voted into office in the next election. He previously was fire chief and police chief, holding both positions at the same time at one point. Both are part-time jobs.
“I’ve been involved in the village for years,” he said. “It doesn’t make any difference if it’s mayor or councilman, I get involved. We don’t have enough people who are willing to run and put in the time in a small village like ours.”
He said he’ll work on stabilizing the infrastructure in the village, including the water lines, sewer lines and street projects.
Stangel, 42, will remain as council president, a position he’s held the previous two years. Council will vote on a new president in January.
DeRossett said he was disappointed in voter turnout.
“It was less than 50 percent (turnout),” he said. “That’s unfortunate. You’d hope more people would take interest in their local government.”
Westfield Center Village Council
Nancy E. Powell and Kevin J. Slife won seats on village council.
Powell had 311 votes, followed by Slife’s 292. Kevin Rych was third with 230, according to unofficial results.
Rych made his second unsuccessful bid for a seat on council in the last three years.
All village races are nonpartisan.