Kostes, Cochran, Kraynanski Move on in City Council Race

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ATHENS, Ohio – Six Athens City Council Democratic at-large candidates were narrowed down to three during Tuesday’s primary election. Incumbent Jennifer Cochran and newcomers Peter Kotses and Joan Kraynanski will move on to the general election.

The only contested race on the ballot was the at-large Council race. Athens City Council is comprised of four ward members (who were all unopposed in the primary), a president and three at-large members.

Vying for the three at-large seats were Cochran, lifetime Athens resident and Athens Bicycle co-owner Peter Kotses, Athens Board of Zoning Appeals member Kraynanski, Athens County Engineer’s Office retiree Mike Canterbury, Cycle Path Bicycles owner Maxine Rantane and Balfour Publishing regional vice president Alan Swank.

According to unofficial results from the Athens County Board of Elections, Kotses garnered the most votes with 744, followed by Cochran with 577 votes and Kraynanski with 376. Swank received 338 votes, Rantane had 318 and Canterbury received 109 votes.

Kotses, Cochran and Kraynanski will now face Republicans C.J. Fogarty and Aaron Dauterman in the general election as well as independent candidate Patrick McGee. The filing deadline for independent candidates was Monday.

“I’m very excited and very happy,” Kraynanski said on Tuesday evening. “I want to thank all the people who supported me and I look forward to serving all of the citizens of Athens as their at-large representative.”

Kotses said that the campaign trail was such an “enriching experience” that he wasn’t too worried about the election results on Tuesday.

“It’s great. It’s exciting,” he said following the election.

“I’m happy to have been chosen for a second term,” Cochran said. “I’m excited to have Peter and Joan on Council too. I think they’ll bring unique experience to Council.”

Council’s four ward representatives — Kent Butler, Jeff Risner, Michele Papai and Chris Fahl — as well as Council President Chris Knisely will be uncontested in the general election. The only other contested race in the city slated for November is the mayoral race between current Democratic Councilman Steve Patterson and Republican Ohio University student Andrew Looker.

Canterbury was appointed to a vacant at-large position in January. He will continue in that role until the new Council members are sworn in next year.

Canterbury, Swank and Rantane could not be reached for comment before The Messenger’s news deadline on Tuesday evening.