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Get to Know the Dayton City Commission Candidates

Dayton Skyline | Graphic by Monica Brutto | The Wright State Guardian

The Dayton City Commission primary election is on May 2, 2023. This election will reduce the current six candidates to four candidates for the general election in November.

What is the Dayton City Commission?

The Dayton City Commission oversees roads, fire departments, police departments and more. According to the city commission office website, each member of the commission is elected on a non-partisan basis for four-year overlapping terms. 

“As the hub of a thriving region, we are focused on activities that enhance Dayton as a preferred place to live, raise families, attend school, work and be entertained,” the commission’s website reads. 

Meet the candidates

The two incumbents are Matt Joseph and Chris Shaw; Shaw and Joseph both received the Wright State branch of the American Association of University Professors endorsement, according to Joseph. The additional four people running are Jordan Wortham, Marcus Bedinger, David Esrati and Valerie Duncan

Joseph has been a Dayton City Commissioner for twenty years and explained a personal reason to stay commissioner, expressing an effort to find consensus within the commission. 

“I’m a much better commissioner than I was when I started. I can represent people well. I can get results quicker,” Joseph said.

Bedinger is running for the first time this year. Bedinger was born and raised in the Dayton and Trotwood areas and described adoration for the city. 

“I am really a son of the city,” Bedinger said. 

Bedinger explained the role and importance of a city commissioner, describing the position and status of those individuals. 

“You can’t keep making the argument that eventually it will happen for neighborhoods like mine,” Bedinger said. “I think it’s going to take raising these issues to the level of an election and electing someone who doesn’t have to tour a blighted neighborhood, but someone who lives right next door to an abandoned home.” 

Shaw, Wortham, Esrati and Duncan were unavailable for comment at this time.

Why this election matters

Any student who lives inside the Dayton city limits and is registered to vote can vote in this election. Joseph explained that constituents see the effects of smaller elections even more so than larger elections. 

Students who do not live within the city limits, while unable to vote, will be affected by this election. For example, any person who drives through Dayton will experience road conditions and the like which is overseen by the city commission. 
For more information about the Dayton City Commission, visit the official commission website.

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