Joe Motil and Andy Ginther

In the last week, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther shows signs of an incumbent in a tight race desperate to prove he deserves another shot at his job. If he were even slightly engaged with everyday people, he wouldn’t need the polling firm he’s hired to learn about what matters to people in the city he is paid to lead.

Selected voters in Columbus recently received a survey (or “push poll”) from a market research firm, EMC Research, paid for by the Friends of Ginther campaign ($55,000 paid to EMC Research on July 27, 2023). What these polls lacked in ethical research, they made up for in creative rewriting of history, attempting to create a fiction of Andy Ginther as having “worked tirelessly to fight crime” in Columbus with only two examples to offer the public of his effort.

Andy’s recent campaign ad produced following this research would have us believe that “taking 300 guns off our streets” through a gun buyback PR event was somehow a solution to the real struggles with violent crime we see daily in Columbus. I have stated that this effort was a political stunt, and I stand fully behind that conclusion.

Ginther also attempts to justify ordering 150 law enforcement officers (paying them double time), police motorcycles, bicycle and foot patrols, horses, canine units, drones, helicopters and cruisers into the Short North for one-night last summer. Many Columbus residents commented that this show of force was closer to a police state. This show of force conveniently took place 11 days prior to the U.S. Conference of Mayors Convention that was being held at the Convention Center, the southern edge of the Short North. To be fair, the message at the time was clear: Columbus will not abide violence in its preferred playground for the rich…the rest of our neighborhoods, you are on your own. 

After 15 years in office, two ineffective PR stunts are apparently the best Andy has to show for his “tireless” work to reduce violent crime in Columbus, and voters should expect more of the same. The only answers to crime Andy can muster are an expensive show of force that makes us feel less safe, or buying back antique and inoperable firearms from law abiding citizens. This is what happens when a mayor that doesn’t understand how to lead, also doesn’t understand how to read his home city. This sad attempt to fool voters results in tone deaf campaign because they (and Andy) don’t know Columbus like I do.

Keep trying Andy, you might get it right someday at your next new job.