Dayton mayor to seek 2nd term in 2013

Published: Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 2:08 PM
Updated: Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 2:08 PM

Mayor Gary Leitzell said Friday he would seek a second four-year term becoming the second candidate to enter the 2013 mayoral race.

“I was elected on a certain day in history by the majority of voters to represent the majority of the residents of Dayton,” Leitzell said. “It appears at this moment in time that the overwhelming majority of the people that I speak with support what I am doing and want it to continue, so I am willing to go through the process of getting re-elected.”

Leitzell said he was running on his record, referring a reporter to his blog, www.daytonmayor.org, where he listed 62 projects or initatives that happened during his tenure as mayor, including construction of the General Electric Aviation building, the University of Dayton’s acquisition of NCR headquarters, the development of more housing units downtown, the Welcome Dayton Immigrant Friendly initiative, increased recycling and the Domestic Partner Registry.

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“When,” he asked, “in the last 40 years have you seen this many things happen in just a three year period?”

Leitzell challenged other candidates to limit their campaign spending and encouraged “unknown” candidates to enter the race.

Former Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge A.J. Wagner declared his candicacy for mayor this summer. City Commissioner Nan Whaley is considering a run but has said she would make no decision until after the November election.

Both Wagner and Whaley are Democrats; Leitzell is an independent.

Should Whaley enter the race — or anyone else — it would trigger a primary with the top two vote-getters advancing to the November 2013 General Election — and the possibility of two Democrats facing off.

Mark Owens, chairman of the county Democratic Party, said it was a “bit early” to ask who the party might endorse. “It won’t be Leitzell. We obviously have one (candidate) announced and one looking. … Both are very strong. We’ll make a decision in December or January.”

“Congratulations,” Wagner said on hearing the news of Leitzell’s announcement. “I think that it will be a good campaign. Both of us get to present our vision for the city.”

Asked how his and Leitzell’s visions differed, Wagner said, “I don’t know what the mayor’s vision is.

Wagner said his vision is: “No. 1, a prosperous downtown; No. 2, education from preschool to college for all our citizens; No. 3, a safe and walkable community and No. 4, a thriving arts and entertainment community”.

Leitzell, then chairman of the Southeast Priority Board, upset two-term Mayor Rhine McLin in 2009 by 878 votes on a platform of change. “We are going to kill the old and outdated methods of governing that consolidates all of the power at the top of city hall and council chambers while leaving John and Jane Q. Taxpayer out in the cold,” he told supporters election night four years ago.

Leitzell said he raised $17,000, plus $5,000 in-kind donations, for his last campaign.

“The two parties believe that they have to win at ‘all costs’ and trust me, it is costing dearly. I do not believe that I need to spend any where near that much money this time around. … So, let me lay down this challenge because I know full well the two parties will never issue the same. I will not spend more than $10,000 cash and $10,000 ‘in kind’ to get re-elected, and I challenge any known political challenger to match the same,” Leitzell said.

He said he would raise the cap on his challenge to $20,000 cash and $10,000 in kind for any “unknown candidate” because such a candidate would need to raise additional money to increase their name recognition.

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