Anyabwile joins Steubenville City Council as Hahn, Timmons retain their seats
STEUBENVILLE — By her own tally, incumbent Councilwoman-at-large Kimberly Hahn knocked on more than 7,000 doors in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s election.
She credits that persistence — and a message she feels “resonated” with voters — with winning her another four years on city council.
Unofficial results show Hahn scoring 1,753 votes to 729 for former councilman Michael Johnson and 484 votes for Michael Walenciej.
“To the best of my knowledge I went to every apartment, every home in the city,” Hahn said after the results were in. “That’s more than 7,000 homes. It was just part of my desire to demonstrate I’m willing to go the extra (mile) to demonstrate that I care about the people, I want to reach them. I hope they found me to be someone willing to listen, who is concerned. I want everyone’s ideas — we don’t get elected because we’re the only ones with good ideas. We need everybody’s ideas on table, then we can sort through them.”
Also claiming victories in contested races were Assantewa Anyabwile, who replaces longtime 1st Ward Councilman Gerald “Yonk” DiLoreto, and incumbent 3rd Ward Councilman Eric Timmons. DiLoreto did not seek re-election.
Incumbent 5th Ward Councilman Willie Paul, unopposed, received 576 complimentary votes, while Municipal Judge John J. Mascio, also unopposed, got 2,496 votes.
Hahn, in her campaign travels through the city, said she made a point of talking to people she met to get a sense of what their concerns are.
“I believe in the dignity and the value of every life, of every resident, and I think I had an opportunity to communicate that,” she added. “I think that’s why people wanted to support me.”
Hahn said she’s “excited and honored” that voters gave her four more years to serve.
“I think people feel hopeful because of what they’ve seen happen the last four years,” she said. “I think they see positive changes happening. Moving a city in a positive direction is a lot like turning an aircraft carrier — there are so many small decisions that will eventually have an impact and turn things around.”
Hahn said she thinks it’s a message “that resonated very deeply” with voters.
“As I walked around First Fridays on Fourth, I think I met at least 10 people who said they’d just moved back to Steubenville,” she said. “I want new families to move in to Steubenville, but I also want families (that moved away) to return. I want conditions to be so favorable that our kids and grandkids who live here now will see opportunity here and stay, and I want those who have moved away to want to move back home.”
Hahn maintains the key to continuing to move the city forward is to “continue to work on our parks in terms of quality of life, as well as housing, so we can appeal to employers to consider bringing jobs to our area.”
“We have excellent schools, strong churches, we’re improving our parks,” she said. “We need to work on our housing, so people have options.”
Hahn admitted that while she was “cautiously hopeful” that the election would go in her favor, she’s nonetheless “surprised and very thankful.”
“I recognize that we have problems,” she added. “But in recognizing the problems, my next question is how do we address them, how do we move forward — how do we at least step in the right direction, even if we can’t completely solve a problem?
“So many of the problems we’re dealing with in the city have taken a long time to develop,” she said. “That means there’s probably not going to be a quick solution, but we can try to move in the right direction.”
Hahn also said she appreciates “all the many ways “Yonk” (as DiLoreto is known) has faithfully served the city in his years on council.”
“I’m sorry to see him go but I appreciate all of his years of service and look forward to working with Assantewa in the new year,” Hahn said.
Anyabwile, likewise, said she’s looking forward to working with council.
Preliminary results show Anyabwile winning the 1st Ward seat with 92 votes, compared to Bickerstaff with 82 and DeFranks with 66.
“I am very, very excited, knowing I have a task ahead of me but I’m looking forward to it,” she said after the results were in, crediting the win to “hard work and supporters who came out and worked for me.”
“It was amazing, the outpouring of support I had,” she said. “People came out in the rain today, took shifts (helping). I think that’s what did it, people helping people.”
Anyabwile, meanwhile, said she hopes to help move the city forward “into a positive growth pattern.”
“We all have different ideas what we want to see done,” she said. “But if we can just find some major ideas we can agree on and focus on them, we can move the city forward. That’s the challenge.”
Timmons easily won a second term in office, winning an unofficial 379 votes compared to 171 for Holliday.
“I’m really excited because my hard work paid off,” Timmons said. “I did give 100 percent, I listened to the citizens. I’m just looking forward to another four years.”
During those next four years Timmons said he wants to see “continued improvements in our water infrastructure, updates with the parks and just continuing to move forward.”
“A lot of good things are going on in Steubenville,” he said. “I think this council has laid that groundwork and I’m excited to be a part of it.”