Dayton races: 2 mayoral, 4 commission candidates advance

Voter turn out in Beavercreek was good, officials said at the University Baptist Church Tuesday, May 4, 2021.
Voter turn out in Beavercreek was good, officials said at the University Baptist Church Tuesday, May 4, 2021.

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Dayton’s municipal races are entering a new stage after Tuesday’s runoff election knocked out one mayoral hopeful and three city commission candidates.

Jeffrey Mims Jr. and Rennes Bowers will compete to become Dayton’s next mayor after former mayor Gary Leitzell finished in last place, according to final but unofficial Montgomery County Board of Elections results, with 95 of 95 precincts reporting.

Mims, a current city commissioner, received more than twice as many votes as his competition, finishing with about 58.4% of the tally, the results show.

Jeff Mims, Jr., candidate for Dayton Mayor and current Dayton City Commissioner, voted early at the Montgomery County Board of Elections, Friday, April 30. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
Jeff Mims, Jr., candidate for Dayton Mayor and current Dayton City Commissioner, voted early at the Montgomery County Board of Elections, Friday, April 30. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Bowers, a retired firefighter, earned 25.75% of the vote, and Leitzell received 15.85%, the results show. They will face off to become Dayton’s 55th mayor.

Rennes Bowers. CONTRIBUTED
Rennes Bowers. CONTRIBUTED

The seven-person commission field also shrank to four candidates, and the top vote-getters who will advance to the November ballot are Shenise Turner-Sloss, Stacey Benson-Taylor, Darryl Fairchild and Scott Sliver, the unofficial results show.

Turner-Sloss garnered 20.8% of the vote; Benson-Taylor received 18.5%; Fairchild got 17.3%; and Sliver finished with 14.5%.

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

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Benson-Taylor is the former regional director and staff representative of AFSCME Ohio Council 8. Fairchild, an incumbent commissioner, is chaplain at Dayton Children’s Hospital. Sliver is a pastor at Dayton Vineyard Church in Beavercreek.

The three candidates who did not make the cut were Jared Grandy (12.8%); Jordan Wortham (8.9%); and Valerie Duncan (7.1%).

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

Dayton voters also approved all six proposed charter amendments, including a couple that will change how elected leaders are compensated and could change the 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.

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

They said the outcome was hard to guess 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 also predicted a tight race because of the crowded field and what they expected would be low voter turnout.

About 15,093 votes were cast in the 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.

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