Election 2023: Fairfield city, township voters to choose new leaders

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

As Election Day approaches ― 10 days from today ― Fairfield city and township voters will have a couple of decisions to make.

Four seats are up for election on Fairfield City Council, but only the city’s Third Ward council seat is contested. Former vice mayor Debbie Pennington, who lost her bid two years ago to be the city’s first female mayor, will face off against first-time council candidate William Campbell, the husband of the city’s municipal court judge, Joyce Campbell.

Pennington, the Fairfield-based Realtor, is seeking to return to the ward representative seat she once held for eight years before term limits prevented her from seeking re-election. She said outside of serving on the council from 2012 to 2019, she’s been involved in several civic projects.

“My record of personal service to the concerns of people throughout the community is a matter of record,” she said. “I value helping people with their projects and issues, and treat their concerns as top priorities.”

If returned to the council on Nov. 7, Pennington said the board “must continue our focus on issues that create increased property values and quality of life standards.”

Additionally, she said the city should continue to value its local historical and the organizations who help preserve that past. Parks and recreation areas are also another key area that need to be prioritized.

Fairfield is blessed with forward-thinking leaders throughout the community,” she said. “City officials must stay engaged with both the residential and business communities.”

Campbell, who serves on the city’s board of zoning appeals, said he’s running because he’s been a resident for 40 years, and has a commitment to the city.

“I like the city, I like the direction it’s gone and I’d like to keep it going in that same direction,” he said. “I think I have something to contribute.”

He’s been involved in real estate for decades, including teaching real estate and appraisal courses. “I’ve done appraisal work all over Butler County,” he said. “I’ve seen the county and I think Fairfield has a lot to offer and I want to continue to promote that.”

Campbell’s priorities include continuing to improve and maintain quality public safety for the city, as well as Fairfield’s sewer and water system adding his belief that “water is going to become more and more precious with time.”

Lastly, he feels there needs to be continued transparency between the city administration and elected officials and the public.

“I will participate and share,” he said. “I want to do what’s best for the city.”


Fairfield Twp. Trustee Joe McAbee is running unopposed in this year’s election, but voters will be asked to decide if they want to keep the incumbent township fiscal officer or go in a new direction.

Fairfield Twp. Fiscal Officer Shelly Schultz has served in this capacity for six years, having been appointed to the position in late 2017 and elected to the office four years ago.

“My team at the township is amazing to work with and I enjoy the work I do there,” she said, claiming to be the “most educated and qualified candidate, citing her 20 years in corporate accounting, five years in tax accounting, in addition to her time with the township.

Schultz, who has had clean audits during her tenure, according to the Ohio Auditor’s Office, said she’ll continue to serve Fairfield Twp. “by using fiscal responsibility every day in my position, continue to be an asset to our board of trustees.”

Challenger Libra Henry wants to be in the job to “ensure the township’s community funds are managed well and spent responsibly.”

“My goal is to maintain accurate financial records, pay bills, and payroll,” said Henry, adding that she also wants to “educate and support the residents of the township in understanding where and how their tax dollars are being spent.”

If elected, Henry said she plans for “a complete audit of the books” as well as encouraging residents to attend township meetings and provide a quarterly financial community.


Early voting: Early voting is underway in Ohio and continues through Nov. 5. Voters can cast in-office ballots at the Butler County Board of Elections, 1802 Princeton Road, Hamilton. They can also request a vote-by-mail absentee ballot by downloading a form from VoteOhio.gov or contacting the county elections office at 513-887-3700. Vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 6 (you should ask the post office to postmark the envelope).

Vote-by-mail ballots can be returned at the Board of Elections office (NOT at polling locations) by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 7.

Early voting times: Ohio has four weeks of in-person early voting. Here are the times and dates:

  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 11 to Oct. 13, Oct. 16 to Oct. 20, and Oct. 23 to Oct. 27
  • 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 30
  • 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 31
  • 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1 to 3
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 4
  • 1 to 5 p.m. on Nov. 5

Election Day: Election Day is Nov. 7, and polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Voters who did not mail back any vote-by-mail absentee ballots may drop them off at the county elections office on Princeton Road. Polling locations cannot accept vote-by-mail ballots.

About the Author