WILMINGTON —Joshua L. Schlabach emerged as the winner of the Republican primary for Wilmington member of City Council First Ward at Tuesday’s election, according to unofficial results from the Clinton County Board of Elections.
Schlabach, who owns Ellis Fence and Home Exteriors and is currently serving on the City of Wilmington Planning Commission, received 252 votes, or 59.29% of the total vote. His opponent, Kelly K. Tolliver, received 173 votes, or 40.71% of the total vote, according to unofficial totals.
Schlabach’s background includes spending a year in Southeast Asia doing humanitarian aid work and serving as the current chairman of Giving Hope, a non-profit organization working with underprivileged youth.
His victory in the primary means that he will represent the Republican Party in the general election, where he will run for a seat on the Wilmington City Council as the representative of the First Ward. Currently, he is positioned to be unopposed at the November general election as there were no Democratic or independent candidates that ran for city council First Ward in Tuesday’s primary.
Write-in candidates for the general election must file a declaration of intent by Aug. 28.
Schlabach expressed gratitude for the support he received from the people in his ward, saying “I’m humbled and honored to have the support of people in our ward. I’d like to thank all the individuals I’ve had the pleasure of meeting who spoke with me and encouraged me. I’d especially like to thank our current First Ward Representative Jonathan McKay for his advice and support along the way. I also want to thank my wife, Terri, and our four children for their patience and help, and most of all I’m thankful to God for giving me life and hope for the future.”
Reflecting on his campaign, Schlabach shared, “One of the things I enjoyed the most about the campaigning was the conversations I had with our residents, and I think being able to meet people and talk face to face was a key factor in the outcome.”
When asked about his vision for the future of Wilmington, Schlabach responded, “For us to have a safe, clean, prosperous city that we are proud to call home.”
Schlabach also offered advice to anyone considering running for office, saying “My advice would be to ask a few well-respected citizens for their feedback, honestly evaluate your skill set, and be able to answer the question ‘why do you want to run for office?’ If you decide you want to run, go to the board of elections and ask them for help. We have an amazing staff who are doing a great job and are very willing to get you the information you’re seeking.”