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Ginther Announces Mayoral Bid

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Democratic Columbus City Council President Andy Ginther has formally announced he will run for Mayor next year. The 39-year-old former Columbus School Board member has been positioning himself for the job for several years, but told reporters yesterday he made the decision over the weekend. Ginther is expected to be endorsed by incumbent Democrat Michael Coleman, and makes no secret of their close relationship.

Coleman, who announced last month that he would not seek a record fifth term, is the man Democrats in Franklin County need in their corner in order to get elected. That spells trouble for Sheriff Zach Scott, who announced his mayoral bid last week. Scott has waged significant battles with the Democratic County Commissioners. County Democratic Party Chair Bill Anthony, a close ally of Coleman, has scheduled a meeting with Democrats next week to try and avoid a nasty mayoral fight. Anthony has not said if the party will endorse Ginther or Scott. Ginther responded this way when asked if the party should do so.

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Ginther says he will work to maintain public safety and improve neighborhoods hit hard by unemployment and poverty. Ginther replaced Matt Habash on council in 2007 and has been council president since 2011. Many expect the field of candidates to widen on both sides, with State Senator Jim Hughes and former Columbus School Board member Terry Boyd among the names mentioned by Republicans. A dwindling group of Democrats, including scandal-plagued State Representative and former City Council member Kevin Boyce, are mulling their plans. A third candidate would prompt a nonpartisan primary in May. Ginther has the endorsements of City Attorney Rick Pfeiffer and City Auditor Hugh Dorrian.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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