3-way race for new Mayor of Dayton underway; Candidates speak on issues

DAYTON — Early voting has started in Dayton as the three-way race for a new mayor continues.

Current Mayor of Dayton, Nan Whaley, announced that she would not run for re-election.

>> RELATED: Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley will not seek re-election

A former mayor and current candidate, Gary Leitzell, said he filed his petitions before Whaley’s announcement.

“This time I ran as a matter of principle,” Leitzell said.

“There was no way I was going to allow a mayor’s race to run unopposed again as it was in 2017.”

One issue carrying the city forward in the wake of a federal corruption investigation involves a city employee and former commissioner.

Candidate and current commissioner Jeff Mims said they handled it with a thorough review of city operations.

“How we operated, how we supervised different things that we have going on in the city. So we put things in place that will minimize these situations from happening again,” Mims said.

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Another issue in the race includes how much emphasis will be placed on the redevelopment of downtown Dayton for things like the arcade project and how much to focus on the neighborhoods.

Both Leitzell and first-time candidate Rennes Bowers said it’s time to pay more attention to neighborhoods.

“Abandoned houses, trash, pot holes that can swallow a small car, drugs that go to the abandoned houses and the coroner comes to the abandoned houses and pulls dead bodies out. All of that depresses property value and it robs people of their sense of pride in their communities,” Bowers said.

The top two vote getters in the May 4 primary election will move on to the next round which will be the general election in November.