Pat Moeller re-elected as Hamilton’s mayor for fourth term

Attorney Pat Moeller had a breeze of a race on his way to election to his fourth term as Hamilton’s mayor.

Moeller captured 98.55 percent of the 3,999 votes city residents cast in the Nov. 2 mayoral race, with a write-in candidate winning the remaining 1.45 percent, according to unofficial results from he Butler County Board of Elections.

The final tally for Jeffery Neal, who officially registered as a write-in candidate, wasn’t known until several hours into the business day Wednesday when elections officials, knowing there were dozens of write-in choices made in the race, manually went through the ballots to count them.

Neal was the choice of 58 people. It’s notoriously difficult for a person to win as a write-in candidate because without their name on the ballot, people have to remember they are running and write their names themselves to cast a vote. For candidates whose names are on the ballot, there is not only that automatic reminder for voters, but also the fact some people who know neither candidate randomly choose one.

Neal, who did not respond to a call seeking comment, did not take advantage of ways to spread word about his candidacy. He did not attend a Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce candidates forum for those running for mayor and the five people who sought three council seats. He also did not respond to questions in a Journal-News voter guide.

Four years ago, Moeller received 89.5 percent of the vote against local businessman Ramon Batista, who had 10.5 percent

Winning four-year terms for the three council seats this year were Council Member Michael Ryan, who as the top vote-getter will become vice mayor; Council Member Tim Naab and Hamilton teacher Joel Lauer, a challenger.

The other three council seats, now held by Pohlman, Carla Fiehrer and Susan Vaughn, will be contested in 2023. The mayor is the seventh member of council, whose vote breaks ties.

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