Mayor Leyens re-elected; Mayfield, Beauman win seats as city aldermen|[6/08/05]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Surrounded by family and supporters, Mayor Laurence Leyens was doused with champagne Tuesday night as news of his victory on a second term became clear.

“I just feel like the community is behind me and that all this rhetoric didn’t hold water,” Leyens said. “It really means a lot to me.”

Leyens defeated three other candidates, taking 3,959 votes, more that half of those cast. Democrat Charles Selmon garnered 2,779 votes, former Mayor Joe Loviza had 351 and Republican Shirley Smollen received 77. New four-year terms for the city’s three elective posts start July 4.

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Selmon, who will continue as the Warren County District 3 supervisor, later congratulated Leyens on a good race, but did not rule out another run for the mayor’s office in 2009.

“It’s always good to keep your options open,” Selmon said.

Loviza did not say if he would try again for the office he held from 1993 to 1997, but said he wasn’t surprised by the results of this election. He said he also hoped Leyens would look at some of his campaign issues.

“I do hope they’ll tighten up on the money and they’ll promote tourism more,” Loviza said.

Smollen, who was making her first ever bid for public office, said she was disappointed that Selmon did not win. She also suggested a future political career for herself.

“I’m glad I got out there because now I’ve got my name out there,” said Smollen, 69. “This is just the start.”

Leyens, 41, won his first public office four years ago when he defeated former Mayor Robert Walker for the top elected position at City Hall. Since taking office, Leyens has been the driving force behind many city projects including the redevelopment of downtown, the redevelopment of the former Battlefield Village mall property, The Home Depot development and intensive landscaping.

He has said those first four years were about cleaning up the city and presenting a product for tourism and investors. He said Tuesday night that the next four years will focus on neighborhood redevelopment.

“It’s not just about winning the race,” Leyens said. “It’s saying that you’re doing the right thing and that the people support you.”