A.J. Wagner is running for mayor of Dayton

Screen Shot of AJ Wagner for mayor site

AJ wants to be Mayor.

I missed the announcement- but the website is up: http://ajwagnerformayor.com/home/ telling us how much AJ Wagner believes in Dayton and he will…

He’s been a career politician for at least two decades and a Montgomery County Democratic party insider. However, he quit his last elected position in an attempt to maneuver someone into his judgeship so they could run as an incumbent. When things weren’t going as planned for one of his patronage employees, he tried to “un-retire” and tell the governor who’s boss. See the posts:
A.J. Wagner shows the Governor who’s boss
How the Monarchy of Montgomery County Works: The AJ Wagner Affair

Insiders who’ve shared the story say the person he was protecting wasn’t worth it.

Although A.J. doesn’t have any use for me, I like him. He’s a nice guy, everybody’s buddy. The fact that he wouldn’t sign my petitions to help get me on the ballot, shows his true colors- he believes that the democratic process is only for insiders anointed by him and his pals.

I’m glad he’s running, just because it will make things interesting in the next election cycle. Mayor Leitzell is waiting until August to decide on his plans. Commissioner Nan Whaley thinks it’s “her turn” to be mayor. Commissioner Williams may be ready to be done with the commission. Rhine McLin is planning her comeback as well, either to fill Nan’s seat, or in a special election which will be called soon after Commissioner Lovelace gets his 20 years in and resigns.

There are some other candidates hiding in the wings, including a few who could give AJ a real run. No matter what, this will be a big money race.

Thanks to reader Melissa for giving me the tip.

Note- And AJ doesn’t believe in buying local- he went to Washington, D.C., to have his website done by Code and Politics

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36 Comments on "A.J. Wagner is running for mayor of Dayton"

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Hall

Where does Wagner live ? Not his full address, just wondering if he’s moved inside city limits yet… :-)

Ice Bandit

http://ajwagnerformayor.com/home/ telling us how much AJ Wagner believes in Dayton and he will… (David Esrati)
 
…you had me…
 
He’s been a career politician for at least two decades and a Montgomery County Democratic party insider…(David Esrati)
 
…then you lost me…

David Lauri

It looks like AJ has a fun new account on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/wagnerformayor

Rick Nash

I think it’s brilliant for a person running for United States House of Representatives to write a disparaging post about another candidate – very inspiring and professional.  Secondarily, a so called advertising professional who creates a fake name utilizing the brand and name of another, would never be considered advertising malpractice or at the very least petty. No not at all. (SMH)  

Much in the way your company’s website is written, you seem to live your life in constant comparison to other more successful businesses, companies, and in this case persons and politicians. it’s actually a bit embarrassing to read.  

Perhaps you should spend more time creating a platform telling people why they should believe in you, your ideas and your professional business products instead of attacking other candidates who you cannot compete with and other businesses who’s creative products are far better than yours. 

One thing is clearly evident in this blog post, at best an you’re an unsuccessful political gadfly and you run an ad agency who’s creative product couldn’t get in the doors of local car dealerships.

Oh and that congressional web video, with a platform railing against yard signs for the first 30-45 seconds…Genius!  Absolutely relevant to a federal office. 

Hall

I have to quote one of his comments: “Perhaps you should spend more time creating a platform telling people why they should believe in you, your ideas and your professional business products…” and agree with it. Mind you, you by all means put your ideas out there. No one can deny that ! All too often though, and I’ve pointed this out to you before, you always have to get a “dig” in or add some insult. 

In regards to negative campaigning, any candidate that does it does NOT get my vote. It’s not one candidate’s job to tell me what another person has done or will do wrong. Is it typical today though ? Sadly, yes… 

Rahn Keucher
Rahn Keucher

Wow.

David Lauri

I know that nitpicking about grammar isn’t really welcome on Esrati.com (mentioning when someone uses the now American standard spelling of “it’s” for the possessive form of “it” is verboten), but Rick Nash should really learn the difference between “who’s” and “whose.”

I’m sorry you got caught in the crossfire, Harlan, err, Rick.  You do mostly good work and you’re on the right side, working to get progressives elected.  You weren’t the main target — it’s just that you’re in DC, and as someone who “specialize[s] in online strategy and creative for candidates” you should have known that 1) a Dayton politician going out of the area for web development might be a touchy subject here and that 2) a web developer should snag the twitter handle he wants to use before linking to it anywhere.  At least you’ve snagged the @wagnerfordayton Twitter handle, and you’ll probably not make a similar mistake again for other clients.

And for the record, David Esrati did not put me up to snagging @wagnerformayor. I read David E’s post about AJ’s running for mayor, took a look at the site, saw the “four things to do RIGHT NOW,” clicked on each link and was amazed that the “follow us on Twitter” link took me to a Twitter handle that hadn’t been claimed. Was it childish of me to snag that Twitter handle?  Sure, but I’ve done some childish things before.

I don’t actually have anything against AJ.  If he’d care to come out on the record as being in favor of some pro-gay things (keeping the city’s nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, implementing a domestic partnership registry, repealing Ohio’s stupid ban on marriage equality), I could be persuaded to give him his @wagnerformayor Twitter handle. Those would be nice issues for a progressive candidate in 2012 or 2013 to take a stand on.

Harlan

Good afternoon,

I want to set the record straight. This Rick Nash guy is not me, anyone who works for me, etc.. I have no idea who he/she is.

We all make mistakes, I’m falible. I work hard every single day, and often nights with no sleep, to elect REAL progressives. We are all on the same team, fighting for the same values. I believe in the work I do.

I messed up and take responsibility for it. But I won’t have my name associated with the above derisive comment. 

Sincerely,
Harlan 

ps. Whoever snagged the twitter handle, please consider releasing it to me. My email is [email protected]

Hall

Harlan, see the post right above yours for the conditions to get the Twitter handle back. Given AJ’s past stance on issues that conflict with his religious beliefs, I just don’t see it happening though…

J Dziwulski
J Dziwulski

^
 So AJ is using his religion as a cover for copping out on the gay issue?  Good to know!

Hall

“Copping out” ? You sure jump to conclusions (assumptions)… Maybe he feels it’s not an important issue, maybe he has no opinion on the matter, etc

Dad

David Lauri wrote: “I know that nitpicking about grammar isn’t really welcome on Esrati.com (mentioning when someone uses the now American standard spelling of ‘it’s’ for the possessive form of “it” is verboten), but Rick Nash should really learn the difference between ‘who’s and ‘whose.’ ”
I agree wholeheartedly. His grammar shows the low level of U.SA. teaching.

David Lauri

Harlan,
I get that you work hard and that you make mistakes.  (Clever of you to spell “fallible” the way you did to illustrate that.)
 
And the Twitter handle was just that, a mistake that AJ, given his background, couldn’t have been expected to check on.
 
The irony, however, of a site in which AJ touts his caring about Dayton (which I’m sure he does to a certain extent) while including the branding of a DC-based firm on the bottom of every page is something that even AJ should have caught.  I know you started work on his site before the fracas flared up about the City of Dayton hiring an out-of-state firm to develop a website for the city (see this Esrati post and this Dayton Daily News article), but AJ should have been aware of it and thought to himself, “Hey, my new website is by an out-of-state firm — perhaps I should manage this issue.”
 
And about “elect[ing] REAL progressives” — you say on the top of your website that you work “for candidates, organizations and causes that we believe in.” Is AJ Wagner a real progressive in whom you believe?  I don’t have enough information myself to know.  I looked at the Issues page on his new website and didn’t see anything about the issue I care most about — equality for gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people.
 
Others who serve and who have served on the Dayton city commission have shown themselves by their actions to be real progressives on this issue. I’d love for AJ to join them as a real progressive and state his commitment to LGBT equality.  I get that marriage equality may be too much — there are up and coming Democratic governors unafraid to be out for marriage equality but one of the LGBT’s strongest allies is still evolving on marriage.  However, this Wednesday the Dayton city commission will be discussing a domestic partnership registry.  Where does AJ, as a possible future mayor, stand on that?
 
David

djw

David Lauri; well done. You’re doing the city a favor here. The last thing the City of Dayton needs is someone who’ll hide behind religion to excuse bigotry. The leaders of his religion oppose equal civil rights for the LBGT community, but many good and decent Catholics have the decency and courage to ignore the bigotry at the top and do the right thing. A minimum condition for voting for AJ Wagner would be to know if he’s in that latter group or not, and for some reason he didn’t see fit to put that on his statement about issues. Your offer is eminently fair, and one way or another it should clear things up.

Bubba Jones
Bubba Jones

>>> I agree wholeheartedly. His grammar shows the low level of U.SA. teaching. <<< – Dad

I agree, Dad.  He probably went to public schools.  If he had been home schooled there’s a high probability that his grammar and spelling would be a lot better. 

Dad

I believe in public schools. I attended the oldest public high school in America, the English High School of Boston. For many years, English shared a building with the best public high school in America, the Public Latin School. All of us knew the difference between “who’s” and “whose.”
 

Dan

isn’t AJ the guy who usually takes the conservative side of the column in the Dayton City Paper? Please explain how this guy is a progressive in any way?

djw

Dan, his columns are here:
 
http://www.daytoncitypaper.com/topics/blogs/aj-wagner/
 
I thought I remembered him taking the “right” side of one of those debates, but he’s not the usual person. Judging from his columns in the City Paper, his politics are all over the map but he almost always comes off as smug.

djw

Dan–our memories were not playing tricks on us:
 
http://www.daytoncitypaper.com/debate-forum-right-92711/
 
He takes the “right” side in the debate about the UD administration refusing to grant authorization to a secularist student club. (As you can see if you read it, in so doing he made rather nasty accusations about some students’ behavior and intentions, was called on it, and grudgingly apologized in comments. Regardless of the merits of his argument, this column reflects quite poorly on his character IMO).

David Lauri

Looks like the new ajwagnerformayor.com website is up, with a new design but really just a placeholder that asks people to “check back for more information soon.”  It does have a link to a new Twitter account, @WagnerforDayton, that has only one tweet so far.  (The old @wagnerformayor account has not been changed since I last touched it, although I did email AJ the password for it.)

Hall

“although I did email AJ the password for it”

Did he agree to stand up for the gay-rights issues you mentioned ?

“And I’m sure it’s still built in DC.” 
Funny that they removed the reference to who is building the site !  

David Lauri

@Hall: As I reported on my blog, AJ told me in an email that he was “fully supportive” of Dayton’s domestic partnership registry and that he is “also supportive of  gay marriage.”
 
Perhaps I was foolish not to wait for him to state that publicly, perhaps on his fancy new website, but I decided it was good enough for now.
 
And in the big article in this week’s Dayton City Paper helping him to launch his campaign (I guess DCP really likes him), he does say, “My faith is strong, but on the same token, I believe that if you’re going to part of democratic government, you can’t insert your religion into it.”
 
As David E said, it’ll be good to have AJ in the race to keep things interesting. Mayor Leitzell was surprisingly (to me, at least) supportive on the domestic partnership registry (perhaps because it has no teeth but it is at least a step). Should the mayor decide to run for re-election, perhaps he will evolve on his stance on the dangers of redefining a traditional word like marriage now that other candidates are willing to come out for marriage equality.

David Lauri

This just in — “Obama Says Same-Sex Marriage Should Be Legal“:

President Obama on Wednesday ended nearly two years of “evolving” on the issue of same-sex marriage by publicly endorsing it in a television interview, taking a definitive stand on one of the most contentious and politically charged social issues of the day.

 
So although marriage isn’t a local issue I wonder if all Dayton mayoral and commission candidates will follow the president’s lead and come out once and all for marriage equality.
 
And Mayor Leitzell might want to add his name to the growing list of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry. The sky hasn’t fallen in the jurisdictions which have marriage equality, and by evolving and finally getting past this, we can focus on other important issues.

TomCat

The new site wasn’t built in DC, done locally in Dayton by these guys:

http://ohlmanngroup.com/ 

Bubba Jones
Bubba Jones

>>> President Obama on Wednesday ended nearly two years of “evolving” on the issue of same-sex marriage by publicly endorsing it in a television interview <<<

Thank goodness that President Obama “evolves” and would never flip-flop on an issue like that hack Romney!! I am confident that his stated views are heartfelt and not merely offered for any political reasons. 

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