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Mayor Steve Patterson smiling during the watch party for the election at Pigskin Bar, in Athens, Ohio, Nov. 7, 2023. Mayor Patterson was running for Mayor of Athens again this election.

Steve Patterson reelected as mayor of Athens

Steve Patterson was reelected as Athens City mayor on Tuesday, defeating independent opponent Damon Krane for the second time since 2019. 

Patterson garnered 3,490 votes, whereas Krane received 816 votes and lost by 81%. 

Patterson will now be slated to serve his third term as mayor of Athens. 

“I would have to say, the trajectory that we're on,” Patterson said. “There's nothing that I would do any different to continue to accelerate the progressive movement here in the city of Athens. “ 

Upon being reelected Patterson said there is nothing he would do differently than his previous two terms. He extended his thanks to the voting electorate, his wife, Connie Patterson, and his two daughters Adelia and Alana for their support. 

Patterson initially assumed office in 2016 after winning his first mayoral election in November 2015, when he ran unopposed and secured 100% of the vote.

In the subsequent mayoral race in 2019, Patterson faced his first challenger, Damon Krane. In the end, Patterson was reelected with 77% of the total votes, while Krane received 23% of the total votes.

Throughout his two terms as mayor, Patterson has focused on addressing limited affordable housing options in Athens and has actively investigated its root causes within the city. 

He emphasized the challenge is not exclusive to Athens but a widespread issue across the nation. According to a previous Post report, he stressed that unless Athens takes steps to make housing more affordable, it won't be able to attract new residents. 

Additionally, his second initiative involves broadening the local economy by exploring various sectors beyond Ohio University, aiming to boost income tax revenues and enhance access to goods and services for the community.

Patterson talked about a new four-story hospital being built in Athens. Memorial Healthcare System, the hospital, is projected to employ more than 150 individuals. Its mean income is set to be $130,000, Patterson said.  

“There's going to be highly skilled individuals with physicians and surgeons and nurse practitioners and nurses and everybody else in the health care field, but also a lot of service workers for that emergency room hospital,” said Patterson. 

As for Patterson’s future goals, he said he wants to focus on sustainability and resilience. He aims to deplete the city’s dependence on fossil fuels. 

Damon Krane, Patterson’s opponent, said his budget for this year’s campaign was one-eighth of his budget in 2019. 

“I think the outcome isn't terribly surprising for that reason, but I'm happy with my performance,” Krane said.  “I got new voters registered; I gave the city its only contested race; I boosted the turnout for Issues 1 and 2”

Krane said he wants to help Patterson achieve all the goals they agreed on, primarily housing policies.

“I was a journalist, activist and community organizer; that's still what I am now first and foremost,” Krane said. “My work always continues.”


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