Race for the Fifth Ward

By Nikki Blankenship

Portsmouth could see some new leaders entering 2018 as Council members from three wards battle for a seat on the City’s legislative body.

Included in the race will be a race for the Fifth Ward is write-in candidate Hannah Storey.

Storey explained that she has lived in Portsmouth all of her life and attended Notre Dame High School. Afterwards, she went on to earn her bachelor’s degree from Berea College in Kentucky. Since that time, Storey says she has been dedicated to working with the community.

“I’ve been involved in a number of local community-building organizations, including the Portsmouth Area Arts Council, Friends of Greenlawn Cemetery Foundation, and Portsmouth Little Theatre,” she stated. “I spent the last year working as the Development Director for the Portsmouth Area Arts Council, and continue to be involved with them as a volunteer and board member. Currently, I work as a dispatcher at the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office.”

Though this is her first time running for City Council, Storey says that her inspiration and dedication to serving comes from her father.

“Part of my inspiration to run came from watching my father, Robert Storey, faithfully serve the citizens of Portsmouth as the Fire Chief for the first 14 years of my life,” the candidate commented. “In total, he was with the department for over 30 years. If my father was willing to dedicate so much of his life in service to Portsmouth, it must be a worthy cause. I’m inclined to follow in his footsteps, and dedicate my own time and efforts for that cause.”

With her father as an influence, Storey says that her real motivation has come from the changes she has seen in her hometown – changes that have come from a driven community seeking to make improvements for the future.

“I was inspired to run by the positive changes I’ve seen in our area in a short time,” Storey stated. “When I came home from college, it felt like there had been a major shift in attitude in our area, and people were really striving for improvement. Obviously, we are in a depressed area, and have plenty of issues to continue working on, but I see businesses opening, organizations taking on the challenge of beautification, and folks going out of their way to encourage hometown pride.”

As she watched others work towards change, Storey said she saw a need.

“To keep this momentum up, the younger generation has got to get involved,” she explained. “I already see that happening a lot in our area, and City Council is where I’m choosing to jump in. The only way that Portsmouth continues to improve is if new faces bring fresh ideas and points of view into the equation.”

Though she is a write-in candidate, Storey explained that she has seen support within the community.

“I threw my hat into the ring a little late, and didn’t decide to run until about June or July when it was too late to have my name on the ballot; thus, I am a write-in candidate,” Storey stated.

“Being a write-in definitely makes the campaign more challenging, but I’ve had extremely positive feedback from everyone I’ve talked to. This is really just a matter of getting my name out there.”

Storey added that though she has the drive and desire to be elected to Council, for her, it is also about responsibility.

“If I am elected to City Council, it will be my first public office. However, I believe I’m absolutely qualified for this,” Storey said. “The very definition of democracy is a government by the people, which says to me that it is my civic responsibility to take my turn stepping-up to serve the community in public office. I am an educated woman with the ability to listen to the opinions of others, review information and form decisions. I am ready and willing to work alongside the other council members to make the best choices possible for our city. And, I will always keep open lines of communication between my constituents and myself.”

Storey is running against Fifth Ward incumbent Gene Meadows who was not available for interview as of press time.

Voters will choose between Meadows and Storey in the general election approaching on Nov. 7.

By Nikki Blankenship

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.