Ginther Wins Columbus Mayoral Race
Columbus City Council President Andrew Ginther easily defeated fellow Democrat and Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott in the race for Columbus mayor.
Outgoing mayor Michael Coleman had tapped Ginther to suceed him, so it seemed fitting the four-term mayor kicked off the congratulations.
Calling Columbus "America's Opportunity City," Ginther thanked voters for the chance to build on Michael Coleman's legacy.
Despite the backing of Coleman, the local party and many prominent business leaders, Ginther's campaign faced several challenges. This summer the CEO of Redflex, the city's red-light camera provider, pleaded guilty to funneling large donations to Ginther's campaign through a local lobbyist. Ginther has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged, but the ongoing FBI investigation hung over the campaign. The Ohio Ethics Commission also continues investigating a football junket the same lobbyist underwrote for Ginther and three city council candidates. In his acceptance speech, Ginther vowed to move ahead with plans to strengthen ethics laws for lobbyists and elected officials. Zach Scott conceded the race shortly after ten last night, saying he knew from the beginning it would be an uphill battle.
Scott says he has no plans to run for mayor or city council in the future. But he says he will run again for sheriff when his term is up next year. Democrats retained full control of Columbus City Council after last night's election. State representative Michael Stinziano and Elizabeth Brown are the newest members - and incumbents Zach Klein, Jaiza Page and Shannon Hardin held on to their seats. Republican and former Buckeye receiver Dimitrious Stanley came the closest to edging out a Democrat, but he finished 2 percentage points behind Page.