MADISON TOWNSHIP -- Catherine Swank won a close vote to recover her seat on the Madison Township Board of Trustees after Tuesday night's election results.
Swank earned 52.4 percent of the vote (621 to 564) to defeat Thomas Craft, according to final, unofficial vote counts from the Richland County Board of Elections.
"I'm on Cloud Nine right now," Swank said. "I loved that job when I had it ... I know what I'm doing and I hope that I can help the people of Madison Township like I did before."
A lifelong Madison Township resident, Swank served as a trustee from January 2000 to December 2007. As retired teacher from Madison Local Schools, Swank said she plans on being a "full-time trustee," readily available to the people. Her first priority will be to improve road conditions.
“I think the trustees have sorely neglected the road department. We used to have the cleanest roads during snowfall," she said. “The last time I talked to the road crew, the grader was broken down and also the manpower is down.
"It's become a safety issue for those guys.”
Swank said she also wants to work with the municipal court to better enforce zoning laws and make sure lawns at abandoned properties stay mowed.
Craft served as trustee since he was first appointed in April 2012 to replace Mark McDaniel. He said he had no regrets about his unsuccessful re-election campaign.
"The township people have spoken and they want (Swank) as trustee and so that's the way it's going to be," he said. "I wish Mrs. Swank the best of luck."
Swank will begin her four-year term in January 2020, joining current trustees Dan Fletcher and Jim Houser.