Full disclosure- at one point or another, I’ve done work for Scott Sliver, Shenise Turner Sloss, Valerie Duncan, Darryl Fairchild, Jordan Wortham, and Gary Leitzell.
The coming primary/special election/thinning of the herd on Tuesday May 4th is really a test to see if Daytonian’s have learned anything after the last 4 years of an insane president, and the importance of leadership in times of crisis.
Mike DeWine would have never been my choice for Governor, but he showed amazing common sense when faced with the covid crisis. Unfortunately, the rest of his party, which has divvied up the state in a way that they control everything, still manages to mess everything else up- and get away with it (that Larry Householder is still in office is your first clue).
Who you vote for matters, even locally. For decades, the will of the Montgomery County Democratic Party has chosen candidates for us. There have only been two regular election upsets since I’ve been around: Mike Turner beating Clay Dixon in 1991 by 400 votes, Gary Leitzell beating Rhine McLin by 1000 votes in 2009. Basically, any other change on the commission has been in a special election- and that’s how Dean Lovelace and Darryl Fairchild both got their seats- and by narrow margins.
That we even have choices in May is a nice change. For the most part- primaries/special elections have been rare- and Nan even went unchallenged once, after she spent nearly half a million dollars to beat AJ Wagner- an affable, competent leader who actually had a soul.
This election will be decided purely on turnout. Last time there was a primary, only about 5000 people bothered to vote. That’s why the current commission has their crazy charter changes on the ballot- so they can almost guarantee passage if their party faithful show up and no one else does. That they even have them on the ballot during this election should tell you everything you need to know- but, if you want to know more see: Dayton City Charter Proposals: the Good, the Bad, & the Ugly.
Regardless of your political persuasion, this election and the following one in November- the only question you should be thinking about is who do you trust most with $147M that’s coming from the feds as pandemic relief funds?
That should immediately rule our Jeff Mims, since he’s done absolutely nothing in his 8 years on the commission that would indicate original thinking. The man is old, with tired thinking and is already proven to be willing to be an accomplice to almost any crime while in office- be it illegal secret meetings or helping his buddies Joey Williams and Roshawn Winburn take the fall for his criminal complicity. Mims is the last person you should trust with new money- because he’ll just continue to hand it over to whomever someone tells him to hand it over to.
Between Leitzell and Bowers is a no brainer for me. Bowers is a Trump Republican who believes that faith leaders will save us. Thank you, but I’ve already seen how the Black Ministerial Alliance did on the West Side- and while they may all drive Caddies and Benz’s the people sure didn’t benefit. Leitzell is the only clear choice- with his willingness to try unconventional things- and his frugal nature (He beat Rhine McLin who outspent him 10-1).
Among the commissioners- Scott Sliver and Stacy Benson Taylor can’t be elected, because either of them will give the remaining 2 commissioners- Matt Joseph and Chris Shaw their additional vote to continue to do Nan’s bidding as always – without a single question or idea.
So that leaves Darryl Fairchild, Jared Grandy, Shenise Turner Sloss, Valerie Duncan and Jordan Wortham to pick from. Pick any 2. And the question they need to answer is “What will you do with $147 Million extra dollars in Dayton?”
I’ve got some ideas, but, I’ll save them for another post. Because I’d love to hear their answers.
By the way- we’ve been trying to collect all the videos of candidates nights for this race and post them on my youtube channel in one place: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE914mHsxMelk0OZHg_rys0kFTNY6uDfw
We’ll add more as they happen.
I’d love to hear what questions you want to hear answered as your voting litmus test. Please leave them in comments below.