The Logan County Democratic Party Central Committee has selected a new mayor for Bellefontaine after the former mayor resigned to pursue other career opportunities.
The committee chose Ben Stahler, of Bellefontaine, over 10-term city council member Dave Haw in a 5-2 decision.
“I was grateful,” Stahler said. “They were fortunate to have two qualified candidates, which is not always the case for a city trying to fill a vacated seat.”
A Bellefontaine High School graduate, Stahler has lived in Logan County his whole life, except while studying pharmacy at Ohio Northern University.
He’s served two terms as a city council member, 1989-1993, and was elected to the Bellefontaine City Schools board of education four times.
He’s also done work with the Logan County Chamber of Commerce, United Way and the Ohio High Point School Board.
Stahler’s term started Oct. 13 and will run through Dec. 31, 2015.
“If you had asked me two weeks ago if I would be Bellefontaine’s mayor, I was unaware,” Stahler said.
His first project as mayor will be to get a budget approved before the end of the year.
As part of his pitch to the Democratic Central Committee, Stahler gave a verbal commitment to run as mayor in the next election and he said he plans to file the paperwork early next year.
Stahler said he has not worked on any goals for 2015 yet, but is excited to help shape the vision of Bellefontaine for the future.
Stahler was a pharmacist for CVS, but recently retired and now just works as a substitute. He is married and had three adult children.