Hordes of students and Athens residents filed into Uptown bars tonight, eagerly awaiting local and statewide election results.

At about 9:15 p.m., Democrat Michele Papai, was declared winner of Athens City Council’s 3rd Ward contest, defeating The Post’s business manager and independent candidate RJ Sumney.

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity. It’s great to have won,” Papai said minutes after her win. “RJ was a great opponent.”

During her campaign, Papai advocated the improvement of sustainability, infrastructure and participation with Uptown businesses in economic revitalization efforts.

Papai said she has no intentions to change those plans.

“I want the council to work as a team,” she said. “There are several (new council members), so it should be interesting to hear (their) new ideas.”

The new council lineup includes President Jim Sands along with representatives Elahu Gosney, Chris Knisely, Steve Patterson, Kent Butler, Jeff Risner, Christine Fahl and Papai.

Patterson, one of the other new faces on council, ran unopposed for one of the three at large seats.

“I’m really happy for Michele, and I can’t wait to work with her,” Patterson said. “I am really excited to work toward more leads, improvements in infrastructure, and the relationship between Ohio University (students) and Athens residents.”

A resident of Athens since 1993, Papai became a founding member of the Athens Near Northside Neighborhood Association as well as a member of Clear Litter Everywhere in Athens Now.

Recently, she has served as an Athens 3rd Ward 6th Precinct Democratic Committee representative as well as on the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals.