Mims wins Dayton mayor's race; Fairchild and Turner-Sloss will be on city commission
On Tuesday night, Jeffrey Mims Jr. was surrounded by his friends and family as he celebrated his victory at Coco's Bistro.
The dimly lit bar room was packed with supporters clinking champagne glasses and cheering him on. Results show Mims leading opponent Rennes Bowers in the Dayton mayor's race by 34 percent.
Mims said his first order of business will be to bring back manufacturing jobs to the area.
“My intent is to continue to upgrade the things that we're doing to do as much as we can to build more relationships that will help us in terms of job training, more apprenticeship programs and like we mentioned before, working with the schools to continue to assist them and the moves they're making,” Mims said.
However, while most people were ringing in Mims’ victory, not everyone at the bar was celebrating. In the back corner of the bar, Scott Sliver and his family were more solemn.
His running mate Stacey Benson-Taylor was at the party as well. The two lost their races for Dayton City Commission.
The county's unofficial election night results show newcomer Shenise Turner-Sloss and incumbent Darryl Fairchild with about 20 percent of the votes each. That makes them the next two Dayton city commissioners. They'll join Matt Joseph and Christopher Shaw on the commission at the start of the year.
Turner-Sloss and Fairchild had their election watch party at Bar Granada in Dayton. People ate tacos and drank beers. The crowd was young and the mood was celebratory. The two winning candidates delivered victory speeches in front of the club’s performance stage.
Turner-Sloss was the lead vote-getter in the election. This was her third time running for commissioner.
Last week, the Ohio Democratic Party sent out attack mailers against Fairchild and Turner-Sloss. The Montgomery County Democratic Party assumed responsibility and issued an apology.
Turner-Sloss says the accusations were baseless, and that the residents of Dayton knew it.
“They're smarter than that and that's why they voted the way that they did tonight,” Turner-Sloss said. “And I'm very excited and appreciative that the residents had the confidence in my candidacy.”
Turner-Sloss says one of her first priorities will be to figure out how to best spend the $138 billion Dayton is getting in American Rescue Plan Act funds.
Over at the Dayton Firefighters Activity Center, Rennes Bowers was accepting defeat. Bowers is a 30-year veteran of the Dayton Fire Department who ran against Mims for mayor.
He says he and his team were praying for a miracle. He says he knew it would be difficult to win in a heavily Democratic city like Dayton.
“We're very proud of what was accomplished and very proud of our team. And these are people that will have a lifelong relationship because we were in the struggle together.”
Bowers says he has good relationships with Turner-Sloss and Fairchild. He says he is hopeful they can make positive change in the city.
Bowers says he has less confidence in his opponent, Dayton mayor-elect Jeffrey Mims. Bowers says Mims ran a nasty campaign and assassinated his character.
Environmental reporter Chris Welter is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.