Andrew Ginther Wins Mayoral Primary With ‘Unprecedented’ Numbers
Tuesday was a good day for Andrew Ginther and his supporters as the City Council president easily thumped his Republican and Democratic competition in the 2015 Columbus mayoral primary. Ginther not only came out on top, but took nearly 52 percent of the vote, leaving the remaining percentage divided among Zach Scott (18.15 percent), Terry Boyd (17.92 percent) and James Ragland (11.85 percent). Ginther and Scott will face off in November’s general election.
Supporters, campaign members and local and state Democrats gathered at the Columbus Firefighters Union on Broad Street to celebrate Ginther’s success, viewing the results as they were reported via projector. It soon became obvious that Ginther had scored an impressive victory that will put him in prime position to take the mayoral election in November.
Ginther took the stage amid cheers of “Andy, Andy, Andy” to thank his supporters in organized labor, his family, his campaigners, neighborhood leaders from throughout the city and Mayor Michael Coleman, who gave him an early endorsement in the campaign. Coleman himself spoke briefly on Ginther’s merits and put his victory into context, calling a win of more than 50 percent of the vote in a four-person race, “unprecedented and historic.”
Ginther credited the victory to his track record in public service, his productive partnerships with Mayor Coleman and other city leaders, and to his vision for Columbus. He also said his success in Tuesday’s election shows that Columbus voters have rejected the claims of Americans for Prosperity, the political advocacy group backed by Charles and David Koch, which released attack fliers against Ginther during the campaign.
“I think the people of Columbus have clearly demonstrated that dirty, secret money has no role to play in Columbus politics,” said Ginther. “I think they have said overwhelmingly with their votes today that they want to hear about a vision for all of Columbus that’s gonna focus on lifting up every neighborhood and making sure that every family is sharing in our success. So the voters have spoken about what they’re looking for in the general election, I’ll leave it up to everybody else but if they’re intent was to divide this community and to pit us against each other, they have failed miserably.”
Ginther said over the next few months leading up to the general election, he plans to continue reaching out to voters with policies like the expansion of pre-kindergarten education, fighting infant mortality and developing the workforce, as well as listening to what voters want him to accomplish as mayor.
“We’re going to go about the next few months like we have the last few months and that is to get up every day, be out meeting with people, all over our great city,” said Ginther. “The great part about being an at-large councilmember is I’ve always worked for everybody in this community. Any room I’ve walked into, I’ve been accountable to those people as citizens and voters in the city of Columbus.”
“This agenda is not my agenda,” added Ginther. “It’s got to be Columbus’ agenda for moving forward.”
Ginther wasn’t the only local Democrat celebrating Tuesday night. Councilmembers Michelle Mills, Zach Klein and Jaiza Page all landed at the top of the polls in the Columbus City Council primary, with Michael Stinziano, a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, leading all of the Council candidates. The four Democrats will face Republican candidates Dimitrious Stanley, Besa Sharrah, John Rush and Ibrahima Sow in November.
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