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City Of Columbus Gets New Mayor: Andrew Ginther

Mandie Trimble
Columbus Mayor-Elect Andrew Ginther (right) is welcomed to the stage by longtime Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman.

Columbus City Council president Andrew Ginther defeated Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott in a convincing victory to be the new face that will lead the city. 

A familiar voice welcomed Columbus’ mayor-elect to the stage last night.

“I do now pass the torch of leadership to the next mayor of the city of Columbus, Andrew J. Ginther," Mayor Michael Coleman said. 

Ginther embraced the longtime mayor who, with his strong endorsement, helped Ginther win the city’s top job.

Ginther captured nearly 59 percent of the vote, with just a few precincts left to report last night.

A banner behind Ginther stated “America’s Opportunity City” as he pledged to continue to build on Coleman’s legacy.

“I believe our best days are still ahead. We have the blueprint. We know the goals. Now it’s time to get to work," Ginther said. 

Ginther, who will take office in January, outlined several issues on his agenda, including education and infant mortality.

“We will embrace the opportunity to help more of our children live to see their first birthday and thrive in high quality early child learning opportunities.”

Ginther also noted the city’s police force during his acceptance speech. He wants to outfit Columbus police officers with body cameras, an expensive proposal that has received some pushback from the department.

Ginther said his first step as mayor will be to put together his cabinet.

Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott conceded the mayor's race to Andrew Ginther shortly before 10:30 last night.

"Mr. Ginther did win; I just got off the phone with him a few minutes ago.  The good thing:  I'm still your sheriff, so that's the good thing," Scott said. 

It was an uphill battle for Scott who tried to pinpoint for reporters what went wrong.

"We had a lot of obstacles to overcome.  Mayor Coleman is a very popular mayor and he endorsed [Ginther].  When you've got $3 million to basically $1 million that's tough to overcome," he said. 

Scott said he hopes that issues raised during the campaign - including the matter of ethics at city hall - would be taken up by the Ginther administration.

"What I'm hoping is, we've brought these topics up, so now they're going to start looking to address them and I'll go back to being sheriff and hopefully we'll start seeing some improvement in those areas," Scott said. 

Asked if he had future political aspirations, Scott said that he does not.

"I'm not going to run for mayor again, I'll just be sheriff and I'll be happy with that."

County Commission?

"Nope just running for sheriff."