The Dayton Extra Election

Full disclosure: I own a small ad agency, The Next Wave, that has great printing prices and can help a candidate do almost everything needed to run. I’ve worked for the following candidates in the past or now: Gary Leitzell, Shenise Turner-Sloss, Darryl Fairchild, Scott Sliver, Valerie Duncan, Jordan Wortham.

We’re heading toward the special election to thin the herd running for Mayor and Dayton City Commission on May 4, 2021. Why we waste time and money reducing your choices is because that’s the way those in power like it. There is a way to choose from a lot of candidates that could eliminate the needless special election- and give small money candidates a better chance- it’s called Ranked Choice voting- and it’s something we’ve been working on at Reconstructing Dayton, to introduce and put on the ballot.

This election will be different than most in that there are two actual “vacant” seats up for grabs. Mayor Nan Whaley has bowed out, and Commissioner Jeff Mims isn’t running for re-election, but has chosen to run for Mayor. Commissioner Darryl Fairchild is the only one running for re-election and he is in a crowded field.

After the Board of [S]Elections made it’s final cut we are down to three candidates for Mayor:

Gary Leitzell was the early candidate to make sure Nan didn’t run unopposed. He had his petitions in early and was the sole challenger. As the former Mayor, he’d have been a serious challenger. When she announced she wasn’t standing for Re-Election, Mims quickly switched over to the Mayors race. He has also picked his two running mates for Commission (more on that later). With only 2 candidates, we wouldn’t need the special election to thin the herd, but, former Dayton Fire Department chaplain Rennes Bowers threw his hat in the ring.

Mims has been a glad handing political machine cog for the last three plus decades. He’s everybody’s friend in public, but will stab you in the back if it means he can get ahead. He has a minimal understanding of the Public Meetings laws- but when push comes to shove, and a camera is pointing his way, all of a sudden he follows them. See DPS: Special meetings are to avoid scrutiny. To think that Commissioner Joey Williams did anything without the tacit approval or collaboration with Mims is pure naivete. Williams went to prison, Mims wants to be your next Mayor.

Looking for websites so you can start to do your research for Mayor:

  • Gary Leitzell has a site at
  • Jeff Mims doesn’t even a facebook page for his campaign that I can find. If you can find something- let me know. 20 Mar, 2021, his agency informs me it’s up:  and note, his agency claims a Dayton address, it leads to a mail drop in Grove City Ohio- so, Mims doesn’t even buy what Dayton builds for his site.

    Jeff Mims Agency unveiled

    Jeff Mims wants to be Mayor of Dayton but he hires a firm claiming a Dayton office that is actually a maildrop in Columbus.

  • Rennes Bowers: has a basic site

Note, while a lot of people are on Facebook, I don’t consider it a legitimate site for a candidate, since Facebook is a walled garden requiring membership. It should not be considered a serious attempt at a site for a candidate.

The goal for May 4- for two candidates to have at least one more vote than the third.

We will be attempting to do long form interviews of each by Reconstructing Dayton- to help you make a real informed decision. We will be asking about their support of Ranked Choice voting and about regionalization efforts as a key part of our endorsement process. We’ll also be asking about support of private police forces, cash bail, jail safety, equity formulas for economic development incentive packages, property taxes, income taxes,  and other critical issues.

For Dayton City Commission there are seven candidates for the two seats. The Special Election will eliminate the three lowest vote getters. Here’s the list of candidates with their sites so you can do your homework.

If you find sites, please comment in comments.

With Covid limiting gatherings and chances to do forums/candidate debates, this is going to be a very different kind of election.

So far, Mims has his team of Sliver and Benson Taylor and it’s assumed he’ll have Montgomery County Democratic Party backing – while other dems, like Duncan, Grandy, Turner Sloss and Fairchild don’t even get a chance at party support. Political parties weighing in on primary/selection elections like this are part of the reason we typically have so few candidates and that we keep re-electing the same doofus candidates. The Dem Party Central committee has been stacked with employees of elected officials who make it an unstated policy that you back their picks in endorsements. It’s why I believe that anyone working in government, shouldn’t have a vote in party endorsements.

With these elections so misunderstood- turnout is usually abysmal. Voting in this election, which is non-partisan, is open to all voters and party affiliations do not appear on the ballot. The real sway the party has is it’s ability to target likely primary voters with mailers done on the parties non-profit rate postage plan. Expect to see mailers from the party telling you who to vote for- not who the members of their party are.

All candidates will be elected to a full, 4 year term. The job is very part time, but pays well. The three winners will be joining the dead weight wing of the commission, Matt Joseph and Chris Shaw.



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