LANCASTER – The Fairfield County Republican Party selected At-large City Councilman David Uhl to run as the Republican nominee for council president in November and announced other endorsements Thursday night.
The Fairfield County Republican Central Committee, representing the city of Lancaster, met to fill At-large Council member Gina Bentle’s spot on the ballot after she announced in July that she was moving out of the area.
Uhl and fellow Councilman Jon Hale were interested in the nomination but Uhl received the majority of the committee’s 10 votes. With this nomination, Uhl will drop out of the at-large race and the committee will then fill his spot on the ballot on Monday.
Uhl said he’s looking forward to serving the city in the new role if elected. He will run against Democrat Bruce McAtee on Nov. 7.
“I’ve run a city wide campaign before,” Uhl said. “It’s just a little bit of a shift. Campaigning has already started.”
The central committee also selected John Baus to fulfill the rest of Bentle’s term on city council. Baus and Craig Bidle, both newcomers to the local political arena, were nominated by the same committee June 1 to run as Republicans in the at-large race.
Both Bidle and Baus addressed the committee before the vote Thursday, but Baus had more support and will serve on council through December.
Bidle also failed to have the support of the party’s screening committee that was tasked with screening all interested party members running for election this fall. Bidle was the only candidate who did not receive an endorsement.
“Based upon the information submitted in his questionnaire and answers to the questions posed to him in person, the committee unanimously believes that it is not in a position to make an endorsement of Mr. Bidle and therefore, voted unanimously to assign no designation to Mr. Bidle’s candidacy,” according to a report drafted by the screening committee.
Following the meeting, Fairfield County Republican Chairman Jeff Fix said he could not go into any detail as to why Bidle was not endorsed.
“We told the candidates that it would be kept confidential,” Fix said.
Fix is one of the five screening committee members along with Chris Schweitzer, David Smith, Steve Turben and Jerry Stebelton.
The screening committee did endorse the rest of the following candidates:
- John Baus (at-large)
- Michael Fracassa (2nd ward)
- Tom Stoughton (4th ward)
- David Uhl (council president)
- David Scheffler (mayor)
The Fairfield County Central Committee representing Lancaster will meet again at 7 p.m. on Monday at the Republican headquarters on South Broad Street to select someone to take Uhl’s at-large position in the at-large council race.
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