DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton mayoral candidate Jeffrey Mims and some city commission candidates watched election results at a Dayton restaurant, and it quickly turned into a victory party as Mims made a resounding statement in the race.
With 100% of precincts reporting, the unofficial results show Mims as the clear winner with 58% of the vote.
But two candidates advance from the runoff election.
Former Dayton fire chief Rennes Bowers won 26% of the vote to former mayor Gary Leitzell’s 16%. Once those results are certified, Bowers will face Mims in six months and the winner will be the new mayor.
Mims is now the clear favorite. This was Bowers’s first political race while Mims has been in city government for several years.
But if the results in November are similar to those Tuesday night, there will be little drama. That poses unique challenges for both candidates: Mims cannot get complacent and must not take the win for granted, and Bowers must work to build on this momentum and close the gap.
Both men are confident in their chances.
Mims says, “If you take a playbook for any athletic achievement, you look at what you did right and you look at what you can do better. That’s what I think all of us should do anyway. So when you look at those things that seem to accelerate the momentum that we had as far as successes in the campaign.”
Bowers says, “The more doors we knock on, the more refined our message gets because we’re really representing them. And the people are telling us exactly what they want and that’s exactly what’s been on our hearts the entire time. So their message and our message are one and as that catches more and more people’s attention, I think we’ll be fine.”
A reminder the results are unofficial until certified, but with Mims ahead by thousands of votes and more than 800 votes separating Bowers from Leitzell, it’s virtually certain the two finalists are set.