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Nominating Committee Picks Ballot Replacement For Retiring Columbus City Council Members

Columbus City Hall
David Holm

The nominating committee tasked with picking replacements for two retiring Columbus City Council members has submitted one new name for the May 4 primary ballot and endorsed another candidate.

Columbus City Council President Shannon G. Hardin announced on Monday he would campaign for re-election along with council candidates, Lourdes Barroso de Padilla and Nick Bankston.

Barroso, an executive with City Year, had already qualified to appear on the ballot.

Bankston, the president of Gladden Community House and leader of last year's
Issue 2 campaign, which led to the city's new civilian police review board, was chosen to fill one of the vacancies on the ballot after Columbus City Council members Priscilla Tyson and Mitchell Brown announced their retirements.

Both Tyson and Brown announced in recent weeks they would not seek re-election even though they were already set to appear on the ballot.

Former candidates for council, like Liliana Rivera Baiman and Joe Motil, have criticized the timing of retirements, arguing that more candidates might have run had they known there would be two open seats on city council.

“Tyson and Brown most likely kept other potential candidates from getting on the ballot who would have been more interested in running for an open seat on City Council rather than going up against an incumbent,” Motil writes in an emailed statement. “This is just another instance of Columbus' establishment Democrats using deception to avoid competition and to maintain their control and power on city council.”

Since 1998, only two Columbus Council members have initially won their seat through an election, while the rest have been appointed first by the council itself.

Tom Sussi, an independent investigative reporter, is also running for one of the three council seats.

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