Matt Miller will be the next mayor of Ashland.Miller, who will take office in January, overwhelmingly defeated fellow City Council member Sandra Tunnell in Tuesday’s general election. Miller received 3,448 votes to 1,070 for Tunnell in unofficial totals released by the Ashland County Board of Elections.
Miller, 40, will give up the remainder of his term as an at-large member of council to become mayor. He will succeed Duane Fishpaw, who was appointed mayor in January when Glen Stewart retired from the position with about one year remaining on his term. NextTunnell, the 4th Ward representative on City Council, gave up that seat to run for mayor. She will be succeeded by Al Farnam, who defeated Sandy Bally in the 4th Ward race Tuesday.Miller said he appreciated everyone who voted for him.“I want to give a great big thank you to all the voters who supported me in this election and who placed their trust in me to lead this community forward to a bright future,” Miller said.Related content Gallery: Matt Miller Watch Party Tunnell said she also wanted to thank everyone who voted for her.“And good luck to everybody who won,” she said.Tunnell, who serves as director of Ashland Main Street, said she was unsure about possibly seeking appointment to what will be the vacant at-large council seat.“I don’t know,” she said. “We’ll see how it goes.”Miller, who previously served two terms as an Ashland County commissioner and currently is deputy director of business and human resources for the Ohio Department of Transportation District 3 office in Ashland, said he tried to reach out to as many voters as he could during the campaign for mayor and saw his effort reflected in the vote.“We were out to touch and speak to as many people as we could,” he said. “We do have ideas and we felt the more people we could talk to, the more would see our vision for Ashland. I think people are excited about the future of our city.”While he will serve as a member of council for two more months, Miller said he already has been seeking out information that will help in his transition to the mayor’s office.“I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with some of the department heads, and I will continue that here as I begin my term as mayor,” he said. “A lot of issues we talked about on the campaign — taking on a more significant role in economic development and being involved in the effort to address the drug issue in our city — the next couple of weeks I’ll pull people together and map out the best way to do that.”Miller said he is very excited about the future of Ashland and looking forward to being the city’s mayor.“So many positive things are already happening,” he said. “I’m convinced that if we work together with the county officials, school officials, businesses and nonprofits, we will be able to create a prosperous future for the people who call Ashland home."