Dayton commission race: Turner-Sloss, Benson-Taylor, Fairchild, Sliver advance

Campaign signs of some of the Dayton City Commission candidates line grassy lots along Wayne Avenue. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Campaign signs of some of the Dayton City Commission candidates line grassy lots along Wayne Avenue. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

An unusually crowded field of Dayton city commission candidates has been winnowed down to four contenders: Shenise Turner-Sloss, Stacey Benson-Taylor, Darryl Fairchild and Scott Sliver, according to final but unofficial Montgomery County Board of Election results, with 95 of 95 precincts reporting.

LIVE RESULTS: Updated election totals for local issues, races

Seven people competed for four spots on the November ballot, and the top vote-getters were Turner-Sloss (20.81% of the vote), Benson-Taylor (18.53%), Fairchild (17.31%) and Sliver (14.55%), according to the unofficial results.

Three candidates didn’t make the cut: Jared Grandy (12.81% of the vote), Jordan Wortham (8.87%) and Valerie Duncan (712%), according to the unofficial final results.

Election night had some exciting moments, as several candidates briefly moved into or dropped out of the top four, as results poured in from precincts across the city.

Sliver started in third place, when absentee only ballots were counted. He fell into fifth place when more precincts came, but then gained ground and finished with the fourth most votes.

Some people thought this would be one of the most unpredictable Dayton municipal runoff elections in a long time.

They believed it was hard to call because there was only one incumbent who only won a special election and most of the candidates have at least some name recognition from previous bids for office or other work they’ve done in the community.

Most of the commission candidates predicted a tight race because of the crowded field and what they expect will be low voter turnout.

About 15,093 votes were cast in Tuesday’s commission runoff election, and 8,330 were cast in the mayor’s race, according to the board of elections.

Dayton is home to more than 140,000 residents and has about 86,855 registered voters, according to the board of elections.

The political environment leading up to the election was challenging and unusual, because the pandemic complicated campaigning and get-out-the-vote efforts and pushed some candidate forums and meet-and-greet events online.

Dayton voters also approved half a dozen charter amendments, including a couple that will change how elected leaders are compensated and could modify city’s hiring rules for police and fire.

Other amendments guarantee public ownership of the city’s water system, spell out the responsibilities of the mayor, permit electronic meetings during emergencies and expand city employees’ rights to engage in political activities.

Every amendment passed, with between 59.6% and 82.99% of the vote, the unofficial results show.

Fairchild was the only incumbent in the race.

He is the manager of chaplain services at Dayton Children’s Hospital and won a special election in 2018 to replace Joey Williams. Previously, he lost two bids for office.

Like Fairchild, Sliver and Turner-Sloss have run for the city commission before, but they did not prevail.

Turner-Sloss, a former city of Dayton employee, currently works as a logistics management specialist at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Sliver is a pastor at Dayton Vineyard Church in Beavercreek, and Benson-Taylor is the former regional director and staff representative of AFSCME Ohio Council 8.

Sliver and Benson-Taylor were endorsed by the Montgomery County Democratic Party.

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