Miamisburg Mayor Dick Church Jr., one of the longest-serving local mayors, plans to seek a seventh term.
Church recently turned down an offer to be the Democratic Party candidate for the 42nd District of the Ohio House of Representatives. But the 73-year-old said he plans to run for re-election in 2015 because he “absolutely loves his job.”
“I want the community working together,” Church said. “I’ve always looked as it as being the cheerleader. If I can be that cheerleader and work up the support to get improvement projects done, that’s what I relish.”
A one-term city councilman in 1991, Church that year challenged and defeated incumbent Don Lucas, who later served as Montgomery County commissioner. Since beating Lucas, Church has been re-elected Miamisburg mayor five times without facing opposition, according to city records.
No sitting mayor in Montgomery County poses a serious challenge to Church’s longevity, according to the board of elections. Centerville Mayor Mark Kingseed, believed to be second-longest serving city mayor locally, was first elected in 2003.
Church has served for more than 22 years.
Susan Cave, executive director of the Ohio Municipal League, said few mayors have such tenure. They include Gary Starr, who represents the Cleveland suburb of Middleburg Heights (34 years) and Don Plusquellic (27) of Akron. Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough has been mayor of the Cleveland suburb since 1986, 28 years.
Church is looking forward to the possibility of a seventh term. He said he wants to be if office when Miamisburg celebrates its bicentennial in 2018.
“I look at it as an honor that the people have elected me to this position,” Church said. “It’s a position I thoroughly love and just want to make Miamisburg a better place to live.”
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