Slutz defeated Democrat Catazaro-Perry by a count of 5,152 votes to 4,666, or 52% to 48%, according to unofficial results from the Stark County Board of Elections.
Front & center: Catazaro-Perry & Slutz spar on stage at Massillon mayoral debate
"I felt a good vibe all night," Slutz said moments after the final results were posted for all Massillon precincts. "We knew we had it, and I'm happy I ran a clean campaign."
Early on, Slutz was trailing Catazaro-Perry in the mayor's race. He initially was down about 300 votes, or 19%, not long after the polls closed at 7:30 p.m. He chipped away at Catazaro-Perry's lead throughout the night, finally earning the 4% victory around 10:30 p.m.
Not long after the mayor's race was called, an emotional Catazaro-Perry was seen being consoled by many supporters, family and friends during the city Democrats' gathering at the Massillon Event Center on Second Street SE.
The mayor also appeared to comfort some supporters and friends who were discouraged by voting results as she walked out the door.
Catazaro-Perry declined to comment while making her way into her car to travel home.
"Now's not the time," she said.
Massillon GOP, family, supporters celebrate Slutz's victory
Slutz celebrated Tuesday's victory with dozens of fellow city Republicans, family and friends at the Fraternal Order of Eagles 190 on Weirich Boulevard NW.
"I'm excited to see what Jamie can do for our community," said Councilman Ed Lewis IV, R-at large, who won his seventh term on City Council on Tuesday.
Slutz, who's served on council for nearly three years, will be the city's first GOP mayor in decades. He is to take office in January.
Increasing the pay and benefits for Massillon police to increase retention, as well as beefing up the city's animal control efforts are tasks Slutz said he wants to tackle early on.
He also wants to restore the waterway at Reservoir Park to a full pond or something on par.
Slutz is a 1989 graduate of Washington High School. He played quarterback for the Tigers football team during his senior year. He also is a retired city police officer and detective who served 22 years with the Massillon Police Department.
Multiple Massillon voters pull lever for mayoral challenger
Late Tuesday morning, voters streamed in and out of the polling place at St. Barbara Catholic Church on Lincoln Way W in Massillon.
A random sampling of a handful of voters favored Slutz for mayor. Among them was Heidi Jacks, 40, who noted she's friends with the candidate's wife.
"I think he's a good person," she said. "And I usually vote Republican."
Raymond Derr, 95, said he doesn't approve of what the current mayor has done in downtown Massillon "in regard to the streets and the parking issue."
"I think she's been spending money on the wrong things," Derr said. He added that he thinks more parking would help businesses while drawing more people downtown.
Emma Shepherd, 29, cast a ballot in favor of Slutz.
"I think it's just time for somebody different to handle (the job)," she said. More city support is also needed for small businesses, Shepherd added.
Skip Kowell, 83, said he's good friends with Slutz.
"He's a good guy," said Kowell, a former Massillon firefighter. "He's got plenty of moxie. I think he can handle the city, and it's time for change."
Canton Repository reporter Ed Balint contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on The Independent: Massillon voters pick Republican Jamie Slutz for mayor post