Feb 15, 2023 - Politics

Looking ahead to Columbus' 2023 local elections

A collection of Ohio "I Voted" stickers.

Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

While 2023 is the year for local politics, most action will take place in the fall.

State of play: Only Republican voters deciding on members of Hilliard's City Council have a contested race on the May 2 primary ballot, per the Franklin County Board of Elections.

  • Most other communities' elections are nonpartisan, meaning candidates skip the political party process and head straight to the General Election.

Separately, the primary includes 14 local liquor options.

Why it matters: This election is the first to involve a new state law requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls.

Looking ahead: Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther (D) faces independent challenger Joe Motil this fall, while Columbus City Council will feature a district electoral system for the first time.

  • Candidates must live in their respective districts but are still voted upon by all city residents. Find your district
  • Only one of the nine districts will be contested: District 5, between incumbent Nick Bankston and challenger Farxaan Jeyte.

Of note: Other contested races this fall include those for Gahanna mayor, Whitehall City Council president and member-at-large, Hilliard City Council and Franklin County Municipal Court judge.

What we're watching: Whether any statewide ballot initiatives will make the November ballot, or if political organizers will wait until the higher-profile 2024 elections.

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