Dayton special election set; Fairchild, Ward declare candidacies

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 12:11 PM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 4:15 PM

            Daryl Ward and Darryl Fairchild.
Daryl Ward and Darryl Fairchild.

The Dayton City Commission on Friday voted to hold a special election on May 8 to replace Commissioner Joey Williams, who has resigned after 16 years in office.

Two well-known faith leaders have already declared for the seat: Darryl Fairchild and Daryl Ward.

Though Williams was re-elected to a fifth term in November, he officially stepped down Friday, a decision he says was motivated by a more demanding travel schedule related to his new job.

The election is 74 days away, but Dayton residents who wish to replace Williams have just two weeks to collect 500 signatures of registered Dayton electors to appear on the ballot. The deadline is March 9.

RELATED: Dayton Commissioner Joey Williams to resign 4 months after re-election

That is a tall order considering that commission hopefuls usually have months to acquire the necessary signatures, said Fairchild, who has run for the seat twice before.

On Friday afternoon, Ward, the senior pastor of Omega Baptist Church, announced he is dropping out of the Montgomery County Commission race to instead run to try to replace Williams on the city commission.

Fairchild said the timing of Williams’ announcement seems deliberate to create a short window to discourage people from running. Dayton municipal special elections must take place 60 to 90 days after a vacancy on the commission.

Fairchild, the manager of chaplain services at Dayton Children’s Hospital, fell just 208 votes short of winning a spot on the commission in 2015, when he was edged out by political newcomer Chris Shaw.

RELATED: 5 things to know about Dayton Commissioner Joey Williams’ resignation

He and another challenger were defeated by a much larger margin in November 2071 by Williams and incumbent Commissioner Jeffrey Mims Jr.

Fairchild said since November’s election, Dayton has seen some of the negative consequences of failing to address the issues he says he prioritizes, including neighborhood development.

“We have Good Sam closing, we’ve got schools potentially closing, we’ve got Aldi’s closing and we have threats to our water well field,” he said.

Fairchild said he would push the city to develop a comprehensive plan for its neighborhoods, similar to the plans the city has for downtown and the Webster Station neighborhood.

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At a Friday press conference, more than 40 people joined Ward at the Montgomery County Board of Elections to show their support as he took out a nomination petition.

Ward was flanked by family members and friends and the crowd included all four members of the Dayton commission and Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley.

Rev. Ward said he is running for commission because of his love for the city and its citizens.

Ward said he was very sick several years ago, but though his body was shutting down, his vital organs were intact and strong.

“That’s like Dayton — we’ve got a lot of problems, but we have people, we have water, we have the strength of a wonderful history,” he said. “I would be so proud to be a part of helping that history become a bright future.”

Ward said his best traits are his maturity and wisdom and he’s an excellent listener who is detail-oriented.

Dayton’s last special election to fill a vacancy was in June 2001, when Edythe Lewis won a seat to complete the term of her husband, Lloyd E. Lewis Jr., who died about three months earlier.

Office-seekers had a short window to file a petition after the city had passed an ordinance calling for a special election: Just 10 days.

Edythe Lewis finished the last remaining months on her husband’s first term in office.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said it will be challenging for Dayton residents who want to serve on the commission to get the signatures they need in two weeks. But, she said, it’s been done before in even shorter time frames.

“It can be done, it just takes incredible organization, which is something you need to be a city commissioner anyway,” she said.

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Maryland school shooting: Gunman killed, 2 injured at Great Mills High School

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 11:34 AM
Updated: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 11:34 AM

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A student who opened fire on a classmate at Maryland’s Great Mills High School died Tuesday morning after injuring two people, St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron said at a news conference.

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Gone lickety-split: New downtown Dayton homes sell out

Published: Thursday, March 15, 2018 @ 12:33 PM

Simms new housing is almost sold out

The 14 new City View townhouses have sold out just about 13 months after hitting the market, making it Charlie Simms’ fastest downtown housing project to run out of product.

City View was Charles Simms Development’s sixth downtown housing project. Simms’ first project — the Patterson Square town homes, built in 2011 — took a couple of years to sell out.

Simms Development released pricing of the City View homes in February 2017, meaning it sold out four months quicker than its Brownstones at 2nd project.

RELATED: New downtown Dayton housing fetching $200 per square foot

“We would consider this a record sellout in all aspects for a downtown development,” said Robi Simms, vice president of sales and marketing with Charles Simms Development.

The homes sold out quickly even though they commanded much higher prices than Simms’ earlier housing.

The Patterson Square townhomes, at East First Street and North Patterson Boulevard, started at about $139,900, or about $100 per square foot. The City View homes, located a few blocks away on South Patterson Boulevard, have been selling for almost $200 per square foot.

The pricing of the Brownstones at 2nd were $200,000 and up range, while the City View homes have sold in the mid to upper-$300,000 range.

RELATED: Buyers snap up urban townhouses in downtown Dayton

The exterior of the City View homes is urban and modern. This was a departure for Simms, whose five previous downtown projects were traditional-style brownstones and brick homes.

Simms last month told this newspaper he intended to continue building new homes downtown for the foreseeable future. He said the demand for new housing in the urban center far outstrips the supply.

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Prosecutors seeking death penalty against Nikolas Cruz, confessed Parkland gunman 

Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 @ 2:31 PM

Confessed Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz appears in court for a status hearing before Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer on February 19, 2018 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Cruz is facing 17 charges of premeditated murder in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  
Pool/Getty Images
Confessed Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz appears in court for a status hearing before Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer on February 19, 2018 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Cruz is facing 17 charges of premeditated murder in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (Pool/Getty Images)

Florida prosecutors will ask for the death penalty for confessed Parkland school gunman Nikolas Cruz, State Attorney Michael Satz said Tuesday. 

>> Read more trending news 

Satz said he filed a "notice of intent to seek death" in the 17 first-degree murder counts stemming from the Feb. 14 rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 14 students and three adults dead.

Cruz is also charged with attempted murder in the shootings of 17 others who survived.

Cruz is scheduled for an arraignment Wednesday on the murder and attempted murder charges.

Cruz offered to plead guilty to the charges several weeks ago if prosecutors removed the death penalty from the table.

>>Related: Senior at Parkland high school recalls moments when gunman opened fire

If he does reach a plea deal with prosecutors, the only other option for Cruz is life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Dayton city commission race could be pastor Daryl vs pastor Darryl

Published: Friday, March 09, 2018 @ 11:19 AM

            Daryl Ward, the senior pastor at Omega Baptist Church, and Darryl Fairchild, manager of chaplain services at Dayton Children’s Hospital, have filed petitions to run for Dayton Commission.
Daryl Ward, the senior pastor at Omega Baptist Church, and Darryl Fairchild, manager of chaplain services at Dayton Children’s Hospital, have filed petitions to run for Dayton Commission.

Two well-known pastors have submitted petitions to run for the open Dayton City Commission seat in a special May election.

No other candidates filed petitions by Friday’s deadline.

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Daryl Ward, the senior pastor at Omega Baptist Church, and Darryl Fairchild, manager of chaplain services at Dayton Children’s Hospital, filed petitions to try to replace Commissioner Joey Williams, who resigned last month.

To appear on the ballot, candidates needed to collect 500 valid signatures of Dayton electors and submit them to the Montgomery County Board of Elections. The deadline to file was end of business hours Friday.

Ward turned in a petition with 1,441 signatures earlier this month. Fairchild’s petition, which he submitted Friday morning, contained 1,430 signatures.

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Ward, senior pastor at Omega Baptist Church, said he feels really encouraged by the amount of support the community has already shown him when he was out collecting signatures and starting to campaign.

“It’s been a wonderful thing, and I’ve already learned things about Dayton I didn’t know,” he said.

He said he believes he can make a difference but will have to show voters that he’s sincere and truly cares about making the community a better place.

Ward said he is looking forward to hitting the streets and talking to people about the challenges facing Dayton and what they think the city can do to improve people’s lives.

“We’ve got to face challenges together — it’s going to take all of us,” he said.

Fairchild said he’s battle tested and has good name recognition since this will be the third time in four years that he has run for a commission seat. He narrowly lost a seat to newcomer Chris Shaw in 2015, but was defeated by a much larger margin by incumbent commissioners Joey Williams and Jeff Mims Jr. last year.

Fairchild, who has known Ward for 30 years and was his student at United Theological Seminary, said he’s a little surprised Ward chose to run against him.

But Fairchild said they are friends and colleagues and he views Ward as a mentor.

“But we’re both athletes too, and we don’t shy away from competition,” Fairchild said. “We value the democratic process, and this is an opportunity for us to share our visions and put out our best ideas for the city and let the voters choose.”

Fairchild said he approved when a friend described him as “a political gym rat.”

»RELATED: Dayton special election set: Fairchild, Ward declare candidacies

Williams decided to step down just four months into his fifth term. Williams said his travel schedule with his new job kept meant he was too busy to give his commission responsibilities the attention they deserve.

Board of elections staff will review candidates’ petitions, and the board expects to certify petitions at its next meeting, March 20.

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