Yes We Can Candidates Will Move Forward to the General Election
The two Yes We Can candidates running in the Columbus City Council primary election will be moving forward to the general this November. Although coming in with fewer votes than Democratic incumbents Priscilla Tyson, Shannon Hardin and Mitchell Brown, YWC’s Will Petrik and Jasmine Ayres’ platforms resonated with 17 percent of voters combined.
“The voice of Columbus voters demanding change has grown exponentially – voters are rallying against tax breaks for wealthy developers, against the opportunity gap we see in our public schools, against the corporate sponsorship of political campaigns,” said Petrik. “I’m so humbled by the support of this city, and all the candidates on the Yes We Can slate are incredible leaders ready to move this city forward.”
Incumbents Tyson, Hardin and Brown took 19, 17, and 17 percent of the vote, respectively. Petrik followed with 9 percent of the vote, and Ayres earned 8 percent. Another 8 percent voted for Kieran Cartharn, the 19-year-old Republican candidate.
Yes We Can, a local grassroots group, ran a volunteer-based campaign. They spent the last week, and the months prior, engaging Columbus residents and activists, who helped make phone calls and conduct door-to-door conversations. On election day, more than 100 volunteers were passing out YWC sample ballots for City Council and School Board. Inspired by the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, Ayres and Petrik’s main focuses were income inequality, establishing a livable wage, and community-centric policing.
YWC School Board candidates Abby Vaile, Erin Upchurch and Amy Harkins will also move forward to the general election. They’re running against incumbents Michael D. Cole, Ramona Reyes and Dominic Paretti. Cole earned 17 percent of the vote; and Reyes and Paretti each won over 15 percent of voters. Upchurch and Harkins followed with 12 percent of the vote each; and Vaile came in with support from 10 percent of voters.
“We need a School Board that is ready to be proactive, not just reactive,” Upchurch said. “There is an Opportunity Gap in our district. The time is now to breathe life back into our schools and our communities.”
YWC has some campaigning to do as they go up against their fellow Democrats’ well-funded campaigns. Voters will come back for the general election on November 7.