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Ex-mayor savors return to city hall

November 9, 2011
By Sam Shawver - The Marietta Times ( , The Marietta Times

Those bright yellow signs urging city voters to "re-elect Joe Matthews" for mayor of Marietta must have had some impact as the former three-term mayor was elected to a fourth term during Tuesday's general election.

"We've had a great campaign, and I'm very happy tonight," Matthews, 72, said as he read the final election results at the Washington County Courthouse Tuesday night.

"I tried to run a clean campaign that wasn't negative," he said. "And I'm glad to know I've had so much support from voters in Marietta."

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Matthews previously served as the Pioneer City's mayor between 1992 and 2004.

"My last year of office I participated in 1,020 events representing the city of Marietta," he said. "You can't do that working part-time and I'm a full-time mayor."

Matthews noted there had been some comments about his age during the campaign, but he counts those years as experience.

Fact Box

The vote

Joe Matthews, 2,344 (59.4%

Jon Grimm, 1,602 (40.6%)

"I've had a lot of experience dealing with people from both the federal and state government levels over the years," he said. "And I've kept on top of things since I last held office. It's not like I left and forgot all about this city."

He defeated Republican challenger and current 3rd Ward Councilman Jon Grimm by a margin of 2,344 to 1,602, according to final but unofficial results from the Washington County Board of Elections.

Grimm, 45, who has served two terms on city council, said it was a long, tough campaign.

"We started back in February, and it's been a lot of hard work, but we gave it a shot," he said. "This was my first citywide race, and we all gave it our best."

As for future political plans, Grimm said as of Tuesday he had no idea if he would run for office again.

"I don't know if I'll be going back into city government at this time," he said. "Right now I plan to go back to work at Grimm Scientific (the company he operates with his father)."

Glendale Road resident Mary Newhart said she voted for Grimm.

"I thought we needed some new blood in city government," she said. "Joe Matthews has been in office before."

But Gay Seevers of Alta Street couldn't have been happier that Matthews is back in the city administration.

"We were really thrilled that he won," she said. "We've known Joe for years, and are elated that he will be mayor again. I know he'll do a good job."

In addition to the mayor's race, Democrats also captured the vast majority of seats on Marietta City Council, including council president.

"It's a 'blue night' for us, a great day for the Democratic Party," said Molly Varner, chairwoman of the Washington County Democratic Party.



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