GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – Girard has a new mayor after the city’s longtime mayor was defeated by a challenger.

Incumbent Jim Melfi was defeated by Mark Zuppo in the Democratic primary with 53% of the vote, according to unofficial returns.

Melfi is in his 24th year as the city’s mayor.

Zuppo is currently the city’s treasurer. He’s been a school board member for 16 years and has served as board president for the past seven. He previously served on council in the 1990s and has been the voice of the Girard Indians for 26 years

Prior to his retirement, Zuppo worked as a medical device salesperson.

Zuppo said he wasn’t surprised by the results.

“I felt like we had run a really good grassroots campaign. We had a lot of young people involved. Social media was one of the keys to our campaign. We stayed really positive, just talking about our plans and what we felt the future should be in Girard,” he said.

Zuppo previously told WKBN that he wants to plan for the future, update utilities, revitalize downtown and utilize what he feels is Girard’s biggest long-term revenue stream: the Girard Lake.

“I would probably have some public hearings and ask the people what they’d like to see up there. It could be residential, it could be recreational, it could be a combination. It could be light manufacturing, warehousing,” Zuppo said. “You could do a variety of things.”

Zuppo said he thinks that people in the town feel like they are finally being heard and have responded to his campaign.

He said he would like to work with the current administration on a smooth transition.

You can view the other election results at