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The Journal Gazette

  • Steve McMichael speaks Tuesday at Allen County Republican Headquarters after winning the GOP primary for New Haven mayor. (Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette)

Wednesday, May 08, 2019 1:00 am

McMichael wins GOP bid for New Haven mayor

ROSA SALTER RODRIGUEZ | The Journal Gazette

By a margin of more than 2-to-1, New Haven residents voting in Tuesday's three-way Republican mayoral primary selected Steve McMichael as their candidate in November. 

McMichael, a Realtor and real estate broker in Re/Max Imagine Real Estate in New Haven, received 1,027 votes, or 51.5%, 527 more than his nearest rival, Robert “Bob” Nelson, a local radio personality and president of the East Allen County Schools board. Nelson  took 500 votes, 25.08%.

McMichael campaigned on his record as president of New Haven Common Council and in several other government positions in the city of 15,000 in east Allen County.

He emphasized a seven-point 20/20 Vision platform and Tuesday night again pledged if elected mayor to form a committee to study New Haven's water and sewer rates, which many residents perceive as too high.

Democrats posted no candidates in the mayoral race, but a party caucus could nominate someone to run in the Nov. 5 general election. The deadline is June 30.

“We are happy for a win in the primary and ... I look forward to working with the other two candidates in building a better New Haven,” McMichael said.

If he wins or is unopposed in November, it would be “a great honor” to become “just the seventh mayor in New Haven history,” he said.

McMichael was endorsed by four-term New Haven Republican Mayor Terry McDonald, who will retire at the end of the year.

Also on the mayoral ballot was Republican Steve Poiry, a former New Haven police chief, who took 467 votes. He ran as a team with clerk-treasurer candidate Melissa Hayes, who, with 957 votes, lost that race to incumbent Natalie Strock by six votes. 

City Council

In council races, two district incumbents were unseated and two at-large incumbents were nominated. 

Republican Jeff Turner, with 210 votes, unseated District 2 Republican Sarah DiGangi, who had 58 votes. Dennis Schebig came in second with 111 votes.

In District 4, Republican Michael Mowery unseated Robert “Bob” Byrd tallying 201 to Byrd's 186  votes.

Incumbent Republicans David J. Cheviron with 1,327 votes (38.5%) and Terry A. Werling with 1,164 votes (33.8%) defeated first-time candidate J. Pat Anderson, retired owner of New Haven's Rack & Helen's bar and restaurant. Anderson tallied 953 votes (27.67%).

Republican Matthew Kennedy, with 123 votes, defeated Eric M. Amstutz, with 101 votes, for the District 5 seat previously held by McMichael.  

Unopposed Republican council candidates were Craig Dellinger in District 3 and Floyd Ball in District 1.

rsalter@jg.net