Seven file to run for two Dayton City Commission seats

Board of Elections expected to confirm which candidates make the ballot on March 14

Two incumbent Dayton city commissioners and five other residents — a mix of new and familiar faces in local politics — have submitted petitions to run for a pair of open commission seats this fall.

City Commissioners Matt Joseph and Chris Shaw have filed petitions to run for re-election, while Jordan Wortham, Valerie Duncan, Marcus Bedinger, Jo Love and David Esrati have filed petitions in hopes of unseating them, according to information from the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

The deadline to submit petitions was 4 p.m. Friday, but the Board of Elections still has to review those petitions to make sure they meet legal requirements.

If there is a runoff election, the four top vote-getters will proceed to the general election in November.

Joseph, who was first elected nearly two decades ago, is the commission’s longest-serving member, while Shaw is finishing his second term in office.

Joseph, a logistics engineer, and Shaw, the owner of a cleaning business, comfortably won re-election in November 2019.

Duncan, who previously worked for the city and Montgomery County, also vied for two open city commission seats in 2021, along with Wortham. Duncan again finished in last place in the special election two years ago, and Wortham received the second-fewest number of votes, and neither moved on to the November general election.

Wortham, a former Dayton police officer who works as a security equity investor and trader, ran for a seat on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners last year and he was narrowly defeated by incumbent Commissioner Carolyn Rice.

Esrati is a local activist, business owner and blogger who has unsuccessfully run for various political offices, including city commission and the U.S. House seat occupied by Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton.

Bedinger, a community advocate, grew up in Dayton, but later moved to New York City and worked as a constituent liaison and community representative for the district team of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who often is referred as AOC, according to information on his campaign website.

This could be a consequential election. The five-member commission has had multiple 3-2 split votes recently, with Shaw and Joseph in the majority, along with Mayor Jeffrey Mims Jr.

If one or both of the incumbents were to lose their seats, that could shake up the political power landscape at City Hall.

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