Mike Seferian cruised to victory on Tuesday in his quest to be re-elected to a second term as Oregon mayor.
Seferian, an independent, beat Council President Tom Susor, a Democrat, 54.98 percent to 45.02 percent, according to unofficial results from the Lucas County Board of Elections.
Seferian, owner of an auto repair shop, campaigned on the strength of the local economy during his first term. In his four years as mayor, the city’s rainy day fund grew to $10 million. Small business development grew on Navarre Avenue. Infrastructure projects were keeping a steady pace. And the new $850 million Clean Energy Plant - an 800 megawatt energy generation facility that will convert natural gas to electricity, create about 450 construction jobs over three years, 26 new full-time permanent jobs, and a total annual payroll of about $3.2 million, proved to be a powerful message to voters.
“I believe for the last four years, things have gone quite well,” Seferian, of Eagles Landing Drive, told The Press the day after the election. “I hoped the people believed I had the ability to keep things going in that same direction. There were so many different projects we started, they thought it would be fair to let me see them through.”
Susor, of Cedarwood Dr., campaigned on the city’s “missed opportunities” over the years that could have made the city more attractive to development. For example, he said the city should have had more foresight to move a waterline from the middle of State Route 2, when it was being widened in 2004, to the sides of the road to prevent costly water taps of new businesses.
In the end, voters did what they usually do when there are few complaints about how the government is run: They re-elect their representatives to stay the course.
“I think we did all we could do,” said Susor on Wednesday. “I’m so very disappointed with the turnout.”
Susor, an Ops manager at TAS, Inc., said he has “no immediate plans” for public office.
“I’m going to give my family a break for a while. I’m a family guy. I’m not going to make them jump through hoops. I’m going to work on my business. We’re going to work on trying to make that a little more successful,” he said.
He added that he was pleased he and Seferian ran clean campaigns.
“The last thing I wanted to do was drag the city in the mud. We stayed out of that. When we started, we said we would not let that happen. And we were both true to our word,” he said. “I felt we had a message for progress we don’t have now. Obviously, that message wasn’t strong enough to get the people to the polls. I only wish it could have been.”