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Middletown's new mayor-elect shares her journey to winning the office


{p}For the first time, a woman is about to serve as the mayor of Middletown. Nicole Condrey beat a 12-year incumbent in this week's election. She brings years of federal service and jumps out of airplanes. (WKRC){/p}

For the first time, a woman is about to serve as the mayor of Middletown. Nicole Condrey beat a 12-year incumbent in this week's election. She brings years of federal service and jumps out of airplanes. (WKRC)

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MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKRC) - For the first time, a woman is about to serve as the mayor of Middletown.

Nicole Condrey beat a 12-year incumbent in this week's election. She brings years of federal service and jumps out of airplanes. Plus, she has a very special best friend named Via. The service dog is with her at Start Skydiving, the skydiving business she co-owns. Via was also by her side as she campaigned for mayor.

“She’s my connection to Ron in so many different ways. It’s been incredible to have her at my side,” said Condrey.

Condrey met her late husband, Ron, in her work for the government. She spent 15 years in service, some of that as a foreign service agent in places like Sudan. Ron spent 25 years in the Navy. He suffered multiple traumatic brain injuries.

The married couple came to Middletown in the hopes the hobby they both loved -- skydiving -- would help him heal.

“He felt like the shell of the person he used to be, and he took his life in September of 2018 here in Middletown. And I miss him every day, but I’m grateful for this community to be there for me and to be part of my journey moving forward,” Condrey said.

Part of her journey is tied to the Fastrax professional skydiving team. She has made 1,600 jumps. Now that she’s mayor-elect, she is not going to stop jumping out of airplanes.

She jumped into the race eight weeks ago after encouragement from friends.

Condrey said, “I took a step back and I thought, 'Wow.' While I never thought of this before, it seems like exactly what I am supposed to do.”

In September, she created a Facebook page, put up yard signs and started meeting with the community. Though she’s only lived in the city for two-and-half-years, the first-time politician won by a vote of 52 to 47 percent. The soon-to-be mayor will continue to wear a necklace she considers her good luck charm.

“My brother gave me this necklace when Ron passed, and it has a little space for some of his ashes. And so, Ron is literally with me every day. He jumps out of planes with me, everything. So. I know he's been with me during the campaign and he will be right alongside me as mayor of Middletown," she said.

And so will Via.

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Condrey will be sworn in in December. She says improving the city's economy is her top priority.

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