Jeffery is defeated in Ward 4

John Kuhar will represent Ward 4 in Kent City Council, filling the unexpired term left by Robert Felton, who stepped down in spring 2004. He received 64 of 137 votes cast in Ward 4 in yesterday’s election.

Kent State student and Ward 4 candidate Justin Jeffery was defeated by more than 20 votes, but that doesn’t mean students won’t have a voice in city council.

“I’m looking forward to possibly having further communication with Justin, and maybe we can get some things going,” Kuhar said.

He defeated Ed Wojnarski, 56, and 21-year-old write-in candidate Jeffery.

“I feel good,” Kuhar said. “I worked hard for it, and I hope that while I’m in office, I can do something to build better communications between the student body and the community.”

Ward 4 is densely populated with students, and includes White Hall Terrace, Townhomes and some of the residence halls.

“My intent was to get on council to make a difference for the city in its entirety, but I will pay attention to Ward 4, which is mostly students,” he said.

Jeffery, a junior English major and president of Kent Interhall Council, said he hoped to bridge a gap between Kent and Kent State. He said he is happy with the number of votes he received and that some students did vote.

Kuhar, who lives on Glad Boulevard, will serve a two-year term.

In November 2003, when Felton was elected, he won with 59 votes. His only opponent was another write-in candidate and Kent State student, Julie Gumerman.

Kathleen Guckelberger, the appointed incumbent, chose not to run for re-election.

Kuhar said he ran a pretty straightforward campaign on a couple basic issues: evaluating city spending, noise control, energy conservation and better communication with the city.

“I will follow up on those and take anything that comes my way as a council person,” Kuhar said.

Fellow Glad Boulevard resident and Republican candidate Ed Wojnarski said he ran because he is more concerned about ward issues over city issues. He was disappointed that he lost.

“I think I ran the campaign that I wanted to run,” Wojnarski said, “but it just didn’t work out.”

Wojnarski received 33 of the 137 votes. Jeffery received 40 votes as a write-in.

“I’m not surprised at all that Justin got so many votes,” Wojnarski said. “Julie got about 35 when she ran write-in, and she just asked her friends to vote for her.”

Jeffery said initially there was a moment of silence when he saw the results, but he did notice a positive aspect of his campaign.

“Having more votes than someone on the ballot is definitely a positive,” Jeffery said. “Hopefully that sends a mention to city council that the students do care.”

Kuhar said his positive campaign and consistency probably led to his election.

“I thank each and every person who supported me in every way,” he said. “I am humbled by their support.”

Contact public affairs reporter Kimberly Dick at [email protected].