UHRICHSVILLE (WJER) (May 2, 2023) – Mark Haney will remain a one-term mayor after losing the Democratic nomination to primary challenger Jim Zucal. The now at-large councilman says he’s looking forward to continuing his campaign and facing Republican mayoral candidate Suzanne Bower in November.
“I’m overwhelmingly excited and thankful and just very, very happy.”
Zucal was leading Haney 295 to 143 after the unofficial election night totals.
“The people of Uhrichsville have spoken loudly and clearly, and they want more. They want change, and the theme that we started of ‘we deserve better’ has actually become a cultural movement, and that’s what they want. They want change, and they want a better life.”
Haney attributes the loss to the lackluster turnout among city Democrats and misinformation about the legal challenge the city is facing from the Village of Dennison.
“A lot of people don’t know that the city of Uhrichsville didn’t sue the Village of Dennison. We just didn’t agree to pay something and we wanted to sit down with them. Actually, on Friday, I believe, we’ll be sitting down for mediation to discuss that because that’s what the courts have decided. That had a lot to do, we figure, with the way the election turned out.”
Haney will remain mayor until the end of the year, although that might not be the last we hear from him.
“I was already approached about running for another office so I’ll sit down with my wife and have that discussion and with some people around me. I talked to a couple of mayors this morning about where we were out on some of the things we’re working on together and there was some encouragement there to keep moving forward but the first thing I’m going to do is sit down with my wife and kids and have that discussion, and we’ll go from there.”
Haney hasn’t reached out to Zucal to congratulate him and doesn’t plan to but could still end up backing his bid to become the city’s next mayor. He told WJER News he intends to endorse someone in the race but doesn’t know who it will be at this point.