Chandler White has announced his intentions to run for the Fourth Ward seat on Delaware City Council, which will be vacated in November after current Councilman Drew Farrell decided not to seek reelection.
White, who is currently a student at Ohio Wesleyan University and a resident of the Fourth Ward, announced his candidacy for the seat on Jan. 7 with a press release submitted to The Gazette.
“The city of Delaware is fast growing,” he said in the release. “Many people are moving here to make it their home. We have that small-town charm, great food, and we are a welcoming community. Delaware is progressing, and we need progressive leaders on city council. I am an everyday citizen with the same concerns as you.”
White grew up in the small community of Broadway, located in Union County, but always had an affinity for Delaware as a frequent visitor to the city.
“I always loved Delaware growing up,” he told The Gazette. “We’d come here as a family when the Old Dog Ale House used to be Hoggy’s. That was one of our favorite places to go. I always used to do school clothes shopping here. It was a place that meant a lot to my family, and a place where I wished I had grown up.”
Now, alongside his husband of nearly two years, White has made Delaware his home and is looking to have a deeper impact on shaping the community’s future.
“When we were looking for places to make our home, it already made sense because I went to college here, but also because we both had fallen in love with the city,” he said. “This has become our home, we’ve become involved in our community.”
White said running for an elected office was never specifically on his radar. However, as a gay man, he said the importance of identifying leaders who will represent his interests and passions began to come into focus.
“Being queer people, you have to be your own advocate, and you have to fight for basic civil rights all the time,” White said. “It kind of became on my radar after discovering myself, to be able to help elect people who are going to fight for common sense issues and fight to serve everyone and not just those who elected them. I really believe in the commitment to serving everyone.”
After Farrell made his decision not to run for reelection, White began looking for someone in the Fourth Ward who would be willing to fill the seat. When no one stepped forward, the decision was made to fulfill that need himself.
“I’m just a regular citizen with the concerns that all of us are having right now, but I wasn’t going to sit back and let someone who is not doing it for the right reasons and who is not going to be using common sense, step forward,” White said.
White has identified a “five-point platform” he’s focusing on in his campaign, although he noted he has many more ideas and is certainly open to many other conversations. Among those five points are promoting responsible growth, bringing affordable housing to Delaware, and what he called “common sense leadership” and “diverse perspective” when making decisions that impact the entire community.
He went on to say, “I know one of the ticks against me may be that I haven’t been here as long as some of the other people who may run. I may be considered a young candidate, but here’s my thing: young people who move here and make Delaware their home love this area and deserve to have a say. And as your council member, whether we agree politically or see eye to eye on every issue, I’m always going to have an open door. I’m always going to be willing to work with anyone who is serious and is ready to improve our beloved city.”
Farrell has issued his endorsement of White, saying in the release, “The most important job for any elected official is to care about the people and the place they represent. Chandler White will listen to residents and work to move Delaware forward while maintaining what makes our city a great place to live. I am confident that we will be in great hands with Chandler in the Fourth Ward seat.”
For more information on White’s candidacy, visit his website at www.white4ward4.com.