White, Rider contending for Fourth Ward


Residents in Delaware’s Fourth Ward will soon decide between two candidates to represent them on Delaware City Council.

Chandler White and Kevin Rider are vying for the open seat vacated by Drew Farrell after he elected not to seek a second term. Both candidates spoke with The Gazette recently to offer their final thoughts as Election Day looms just one month away.


Rider announced his intention to run for the open council seat in May, stating he is “excited to apply nearly 25 years of engineering and management experience to help strengthen Delaware to grow as one of the most desirable cities in Ohio.”

Rider, who holds a Ph.D. in industrial engineering, has been a Delaware resident since moving to central Ohio in 2011. He owns a small litigation consulting company that helps attorneys resolve personal injury cases around the country and was previously a professor at West Virginia University.

Speaking with The Gazette in May, Rider noted his service in the legal and civic community positions him well to help Delaware address the challenges it faces as it looks to build on the Delaware Together Comprehensive Plan. “We start talking about infrastructure, transportation, and housing, these are things that have touched me personally for a long time,” he said in May.

With just one month remaining until Election Day, Rider continued to express the belief that his professional experiences make him a valuable asset to the city as it navigates the road ahead.

“Having been a professor at a major university, having run a multi-million dollar laboratory and its budget, and having to prioritize projects and some students having to wait to do their work based on where the money is coming from and where we can get additional funds and allocating that properly to meet the needs of everyone, my experience is directly connected to these issues,” Rider said.

He added, “I also run a small business. It’s successful with nationwide reach. But in the same sense, it’s finite resources with a significant demand for things that could be accomplished. So it’s wise use and wise stewarding of the finances available.”

In the time since announcing his campaign, Rider said he has come to find a wide variety of things the community would like to see from its government in addition to the most prominent challenges facing the city. Such knowledge can only be gained through meeting with residents, and he intends to maintain that established line of communication moving forward, regardless of whether he’s elected or not.

“Having knocked on over half the voters’ doors already in this process, I’ve heard so many different views and perspectives and complaints and concerns, so it’s been so insightful to add to what I already know is challenging to the city and what it’s facing and where it’s heading,” he said.

Rider said juggling his professional career with finding the time to campaign is “an interesting balance” but noted his faith has gone a long way in keeping him moving forward.

“I could not do this on my own,” he added. “(Bible verse) Philippians 4:13 says, ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.’”

Rider also noted he remains invigorated by the idea of what he plans to do in and for the city if elected.

“That is the driving force,” he said. “That’s why I started the process, and (that force) has only been more pronounced the further I’ve gotten into this process. It’s more and more interesting, and I feel more capable of helping the city to solve these problems.”

Should he be elected, Rider said he would be most excited to simply have a voice at the table as one of the seven council members steering the city in its most important moments.

“I do feel I add a unique perspective, both in education experience and training and qualifications,” he said. “It’s the ability to make wise sound decisions about how the city is going to be spending its time and resources. I think that really is the key part of any success Delaware has in its future. It will be related to those decisions.”

Rider went on to say, “I am a successful small business owner with 25 years of professional experience. I have personally dealt with many of the issues Delaware is facing, and I think it’s a stark contrast to other individuals running for City Council seats. It truly is needed for experience. And I’m an engineer, not a politician. I’m not out for my own benefit. I’m just genuinely wanting to help the city, and I believe I can.”


A current student at Ohio Wesleyan University, White announced his bid in January following Farrell’s decision not to seek reelection. However, his initial plan was centered more on helping a candidate with his campaign for the seat rather than running himself.

After one potential candidate ultimately had to back out, and nobody else stepped forward, White ultimately decided the onus fell on him to take matters into his own hands.

“I’m my father’s son, and he was a drill sergeant,” White said. “My grandfather worked four jobs, getting three hours of sleep each night in order to support his family. These people taught me service, and when no one is stepping up to the plate, you have to step up. To that end, I did that and am proud of the work I have done because I never viewed it as a step up in the world for me but rather as something somebody needed to do.”

As a gay man, White previously told The Gazette the importance of identifying leaders who will represent his interests and passions, as well as every person who feels marginalized or underserved, also factored heavily into his decision to run.

“Being queer people, you have to be your own advocate, and you have to fight for basic civil rights all the time,” White told The Gazette in January. “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.”

White noted the campaign cycle has been demanding, but the interactions he’s had with fellow community members have continued to show him how rewarding the position can be should he be elected.

“What makes me more excited are the productive conversations I’ve had with people across the Fourth Ward, the city, elected leaders, and business owners,” White said. “I’ve just gotten out there and met people who, frankly, I didn’t think would support me or would be open to this type of campaign.

“People are excited. They want younger leadership. They want diversity in their leadership. They want people who are energetic and care. People are resonating with the message I’ve been giving, and I’m very thankful to be able to be considered for this role.”

White has leaned on a “five-point platform” throughout his campaign. 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.

But more than anything, White said he’s made it a point to “meet people where they are” and find the common ground that exists for everyone as they face similar problems. He pointed to the city’s east side, where he noted “people of my standing don’t typically win,” but said it will be represented all the same because they deserve “accountable representation.”

“When you go and you talk to people over there and say, ‘Look at your sidewalks turning to gravel and look at these roads that haven’t been done since the 90s that are full of potholes and are dangerous, and you talk about how we need to invest in these issues, these people will listen to you,” he said. “They understand and realize that we don’t have to agree on every political issue, but this person cares, he’s going to work his ass off, and he wants to fulfill our needs. It’s important to know that even though we don’t agree on every issue, that’s okay, but you know I’m going to be in your corner.”

Bringing a youthful perspective to the council has been a significant talking point for White throughout his campaign, and he believes that diversity is critical given the growth of the city and Delaware County as a whole, as well as the shift in demographics.

“We are at a crucial point in this county’s history, and the city of Delaware is the seat of this county,” White said. “But unlike other county seats, we don’t have the resources or the tax base. A lot of businesses are looking at places like Powell, Lewis Center, and Polaris and not Delaware because of the position we are in. We are at a crucial point where we need leadership who is going to make sure that, even though we don’t have the same status as other county seats, we will be able to move forward in the years to come.”

White added that the median age in Delaware County is now 37 years old, down from the days of Delaware being more of a rural community, and it’s important for leadership to begin to reflect those demographics.

He went on to say, “At the end of the day, win or lose, I want to be involved in this community. I’m proud of this community, I’m proud of the work we’ve done in this campaign, and I thank everyone who has donated money, volunteered, or told their friends about me. When people meet me, they understand I’m not doing it for myself. I’m doing it because I care, I want to be a public servant, and we need people who are passionate. Passion is something I’ll always bring to the table.”

Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.

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