Bell wins mayoral race in Oxford Borough
By Steven Hoffman
Lorraine Durnan Bell is the new mayor of Oxford Borough after her Election Day victory on Nov. 7.
Bell, a Democrat who is currently finishing her term as a member of the Oxford School Board, received 391 votes, or 49 percent of the total votes, while Republican candidate Pam Benjamin earned 341 votes, or 43 percent of the total votes. There were also 63 votes, about 8 percent of the total votes, cast for write-in candidates in a race that was close enough for the write-in votes to potentially make a difference.
Bell thanked the residents of Oxford Borough for the opportunity to serve as their mayor.
“I am so grateful and honored to have been elected as the first woman mayor of this amazing town,” she said in an email two days after the election. “‘Service before self’ is a motto that rings true in Oxford, and I look forward to serving my hometown community. Working with the Oxford Police Department, the Borough Council and the community will be my pleasure. My dedication to this town will not waiver, and I hope to be a positive part of the great changes and improvements to come over the next four years.”
There were six candidates vying for four seats on Oxford Borough Council, and Democrats did very well. Amanda Birdwell was the top vote-getter, receiving 498 votes, followed by Robert Ketcham, who earned 468 votes. Phillip Hurtt II also won a seat on council with 405 votes. Birdwell, Ketcham, and Hurtt will all be first-time Oxford Borough Council members. Ron Hershey, the incumbent council president, won re-election with 425 votes.
The new council members will be sworn in at a council reorganization meeting in early January 2018.
Oxford Borough mayors, 1961-present
John H. Ware III, elected Burgess (1956)
Title changes to Mayor (1961)
Lewis B. Cauffman (1962)
John I. Watson (1966)
Francis L. Maule (1970)
John W. Roberts (1975)
Paul E. Andriole (1982)
W. Donald Pierce (1990)
Harold Gray (1994)
Geoffrey L. Henry (2006)
Lorraine Durnan Bell (2018)