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Columbus Democrats Hold On To Council Seats.

Democrats kept a tight grip on city council courtesy of Columbus voters. Five incumbents, all democrats, won new four year terms.

Columbus City council president Mike Mentel thanked city voters for a new lease on political life. He characterized the democratic sweep on council as a strong message to his republican opponents.

"You rejected a view of pessimism, you rejected a view of despair. You chose to move Columbus forward. You chose to move Columbus in the right direction with opporutunity, hope."

Mentel finished second in balloting behind Charleta Tavares was the top vote-getter in Tuesday's balloting. Tavares won 18 percent of the vote to gain her third term on council. She vows more attention will be given to city neighborhoods during her new term.

"We're sure we're pereserving neighborhoods through community development."

Andrew Ginther and Hearcel Craig, both democrats, also won election. Among republicans for council. Jim O'Grady ran best collecting nearly 38-thousand votes or about 12 percent. He says G-O-P challengers faced two hurdles too big to overcome.

"I, and all the other republican candidates were really running against a democratic machine." Says O'Grady.

In a separate race to fill an unexpired term on columbus city council. appointed incumbent democrat Priscilla Tyson easily defeated Heidi Samuel for a term that ends in 2009.