A third candidate with no political experience grabbed the third remaining spot, squeaking by with a narrow victory.
City residents elected Dennis Murray Jr., Dick Brady and Naomi Twine into office, according to unofficial results.
They’ll replace ex officio mayor John Hamilton, Diedre Cole, who both lost in Tuesday’s election, and Pervis Brown, whose term ends Dec. 31.
The three candidates also defeated challengers Scott Schell and Patricia Ferguson.
Murray secured about 27 percent of the total vote, more than any other candidate. He said he’s pumped up to return.
Voters elected Murray, a partner in the Murray & Murray law firm, to become a city commissioner in 2005. In 2009 he became a state representative for four years.
His top priority as he returns to the commission: address Sandusky’s $1 million shortfall in the $16 million annual operating budget come early next year.
“I’m looking forward to being back and being involved in Sandusky’s government,” Murray said. “Immediately, we have to deal with the budget crisis that no one has been talking about. That’s been the problem with city government during the past two years: Nobody is talking.”
Watch video of Murray on election night and his plans for his return to office in the player below
Brady, who served one year as a commissioner in 2012 when he filled a vacant seat, is a local entrepreneur and owner of Brady Sign and Brady Electric. He said he wants to partner with neighboring communities and local governments so Sandusky can become more efficient and save taxpayer dollars.
“I believe the commission that is going to take office on Jan. 1 is going to set the city in a new direction,” Brady said. “We are going to create a vision.”
Watch video of Brady on election night and his plans for his return to office in the player below
Twine, an Ohio Veterans Home administrative assistant, has some experience with city government. She heads up the city’s human relations commission, whose volunteers handle problems residents may have with city officials or services.
Twine’s campaign centered on fixing Sandusky’s finances as well.
“We need to look at the budget and come up with a strategic plan so we can move the city forward,” she said.
Each commissioner won a four-year term, for which they’ll earn about $5,200 a year.
Cole, who tried to win re-election as a write-in candidate, was disappointed with the loss.
“I didn’t campaign, I didn’t put up any signs, I did it at the last minute,” Cole said. “I feel people need to put food on the table rather than give me money.”
Since taking office in 2010, Cole has been the most vocal city commissioner, acting as the board’s watchdog while exposing malfeasance, negligence and mishandling of public funds.
Watch video of Cole from election night in the player below