Staniszewski loses Washington City Council race

November 6, 2013
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Matt Staniszewski
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Joseph Manning
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A new face will be on Washington City Council next year while a polarizing two-term incumbent lost his re-election bid.

Challenger Tracie Rotunda Graham and incumbent Joe Manning cruised to big victories Tuesday night while Matt Staniszewski lost his bid for a third term on council.

Rotunda Graham, 52, was running on both the Republican and Democratic ballots, and picked up the most votes with 820 votes . Manning, 52, was close behind with 757 while running on the Democratic ticket.

They each will be sworn-in for four-year terms in January. Neither immediately returned phones calls late Tuesday to discuss their election night victories.

Staniszewski, 36, a two-term Republican, received 426 votes in the race. He thanked Washington residents for their support and said he was proud of what he accomplished over the past eight years on council.

“It’s been an honor to serve the city over the last eight years,” Staniszewski said. “It’s been an interesting journey. I feel like I’ve laid some good ground work and I hope the next administration can follow through and the city will have a prosperous future.”

However, his time on council was not without controversy. He was convicted twice for driving under the influence, sent an ill-advised message using the city’s electronic alert system earlier this year and had a long-simmering feud with Washington Mayor Brenda Davis.

But Staniszewski preferred to look toward the future. The election loss now paves the way for Staniszewski to continue working as New Castle’s economic development director and eventually move to the Lawrence County city.

“I look forward to the adventures moving forward,” he said. “The sky’s the limit. Everything is good.”

That director position requires Staniszewski to establish residency by mid-March unless he is granted a waive by New Castle City Council.

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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