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Incumbent Darryl Fairchild Looks For Another Term As Dayton City Commissioner

Darryl Fairchild sits in a store, wearing a blue and white striped button-down shirt and red tie. He is the only incumbent running for one of two Dayton City Commissioner seats.
Darryl Fairchild
Darryl Fairchild is running for re-election as a Dayton City Commissioner. He is the only incumbent out of seven candidates in an especially crowded race.

Commissioner Darryl Fairchild is the only incumbent running for one of two Dayton City Commissioner seats. This is his fourth time running. He won in a special election in 2018, and is continuing to continue his work for another term.

Fairchild did not seek an endorsement from the Montgomery County Democratic Party this year. However, he is confident that his ties to the community will push him forward.

WYSO’s Mawa Iqbal sits down with Fairchild to talk about his campaign.

Transcript (edited lightly for length and clarity)

Mawa Iqbal: So, tell me why you are running for re-election?

Darryl Fairchild: I've accomplished some of the things that I set out to accomplish, but there's still more work to do. These past three years have been atypical. I think it's fair to say that they may be some of the toughest that we've had in over a century in terms of how to navigate the challenges that have come our way. And so I've been tested by fire and I demonstrated leadership through very difficult times. We have a hundred and forty seven million dollars coming to the city for rescue funds. That's a once in a lifetime opportunity to make an investment in our city to significantly change it and improve it. If the guidance comes as we anticipate, then we'll be able to put a significant amount into neighborhoods that haven't seen investment in years, and so to take advantage of that opportunity to be a part of shaping. That is one of the reasons I'm running.

MI: And I kind of wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask about your campaigning strategy and the efforts for it. So how has that been going so far?

DF: So I think our campaign is going well. One of the strengths of my campaign is that I have a history of working within the community for over 45 years. And so I've been in schools as a student and then I've been in churches and community centers and neighborhoods doing work prior to running for office. I've run now -- this is my fourth time running. So people know me and they know the skills I have. They know the experience I have. They know my values, my principles. And they've seen me in action now over three years.

MI: I spoke with Mark Owens, who's the chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Party, and he was talking about the endorsements from the party and he said that you had not applied for an endorsement this year. So I was just wondering why that was.

DF: In previous three runs, I had sought the endorsement of the Democratic Party and had not received it this year. I felt like the only endorsement that matters is the endorsement of the citizens, and I believe that I have done enough to demonstrate that I am a good city commissioner and one that citizens can put their trust in and who are willing to have me be a leader.

MI: And I think you may have already answered this question. It was just, what do you hope to change in the second term?

DF: Particularly, given what our young people have faced over the last year, but not only last year, what our young people go through in terms of their lived experience in our city, that we need to do more programming to support them. I know a lot of our young people are exposed to violence and trauma, and I think the more we can do to foster relationships with adults who can be supportive and caring and good influences in their lives, the better it'll be. I think about my own experience growing up. When I was 16, my father died and it was my Boy Scout leaders, my coaches, members of my church, customers on my paper route who really surrounded my family and helped us get through as a family, and helped mentor me through to adulthood where I could be on my own and be successful. And for too many of our young people, their families are isolated and don't have that robust sense of community around them. And I think we need to do a better job to foster those social connections that really make a neighborhood, a community where the people want to live.

The election will be held May 4. There are a total of seven candidates running for commissioner, and three running for mayor.

Mawa Iqbal is a reporter for WYSO. Before coming to WYSO, she interned at Kansas City PBS's digital magazine, Flatland. There, her reporting focused on higher education and immigrant communities in the Kansas City area. She studied radio journalism at Mizzou, where she also worked for their local NPR-affiliate station as a reporter.