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Incumbent challenged for 4th Ward seat in Ferry

MARTINS FERRY — A challenge for the 4th Ward City Council seat in Martins Ferry is the only contested race in Belmont County’s primary election on Tuesday.

Voters will choose between incumbent Rick Rodgers and challenger Pamela Shrodes, both Democrats.

Rodgers, 70, has been a member of council for the past seven years and now serves as president pro tem. He also has served on the finance, audit, annexation, code administration and safety committees, the public relations committee and is currently the chairman of the street committee.

If re-elected, Rodgers said he plans to continue consulting with the city’s residents to ensure their voices are heard. He said he will serve the city to the best of his ability.

“I have always listened to my people. People approach me as I walk, and I do walk quite a bit. I listen with both my heart and my ears,” he said. “If I have an important decision to make on a piece of legislation, I will continue to approach voters in the 4th Ward for their input since they have elected me and they have a voice through me.”

Rodgers works as a private health care provider and holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Ohio University. He previously worked as an educator and principal of the Roman Catholic school systems for the Diocese of Steubenville and Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.

Rodgers is a member of Project Forward, the Ohio River Valley Elks Lodge 231, the Polish National Alliance and serves as liaison to the Martins Ferry Chamber of Commerce.

Rodgers is single. He has a brother, niece, nephew and two great-nieces and one great-nephew, all of whom reside in Shadyside.

Shrodes, 40 and a lifelong resident of Martins Ferry, said she wants to become a councilwoman so she can work on bringing more businesses and entertainment to the city.

“I’m young and I want to bring a fresh new vision to the city,” she said.

Shrodes said this is her first time running for office. She is a Class of 2000 graduate of Martins Ferry High School. She works for Panhandle Farmers Mutual insurance company.

“I’m a homebody. I love this town and I grew up here, and this is where I raised my family. My kids love it here,” she said.

Shrodes is married to Jeremy Shrodes, an employee of the city. They have two children together: Donavon, 20, and Dominick, 16.

Other candidates on the ballot who are running uncontested include:

­– Incumbent Kristine Davis as the Democratic candidate for president of Martins Ferry City Council;

— Thomas J. Burns, John A. Regis Sr. and Jim Schramm, all seeking at-large council seats in Martins Ferry;

— Republican Robert P. Hunker 1st Ward council member in Martins Ferry;

— Republican Bruce Shrodes for 2nd Ward council member in Martins Ferry; and

— Democrat Suzanne C. Armstrong for 3rd Ward council member in Martins Ferry.

Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

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