Lancaster Mayor

Democrat Greg Russell, Republican David Scheffler and independent Clayton Lunsford are running to fill the remaining two years of the four-year term of former Mayor Brian Kuhn, a Republican elected in November 2015 who resigned under pressure.Related coverage:Three mayoral candidates promise to return transparency, trust to Lancaster
Choose two candidates from below to compare.
  • Candidate picture

    Clayton Lundsford (Ind) Senior at Lancaster High School

  • Candidate picture

    Gregory A. Russell (Dem) Managing Partner @ Tiki Lanes

  • Candidate picture

    David Scheffler (Rep) Executive Director, Destination Downtown Lancaster

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Biographical Information

What are the main three things you believe Lancaster should have to make it a good city, and what will you do to implement them?

What are the main three things you believe Lancaster should work to remove or reduce, and what will you do to make that happen?

Why are you the best-qualified candidate for this position?

What else would you like to say to voters?

Age 18
Education Senior at Lancaster High School
Family Mother Cristy Lunsford Father Michael Lunsford Brother Tyler Grandparents Cris & Judy Lunsford, Myrna & Gary Lunsford
Religion Christian (Nondenominational)
Twitter @Lunsford4Mayor
Lancaster is a good city with the potential to be a great one. To transcend the abyss of mediocrity, there are several changes our city needs to enact. The next city administration needs to completely rework our tax incentive system so that companies are no longer dissuaded from locating in our city. They should be able to receive tax abatements regardless of where they want to locate in the city. Another improvement our city requires is the update of our crumbling infrastructure without increasing the tax burden. We can accomplish this by renewing the current street levy and being more responsible with tax dollars in other departments. This will allow us to maintain the pace at which we repave the streets and allow residential areas to be covered for the first time in decades. Lancaster also needs to create a more transparent government. Citizens deserve to be aware of where their money is being spent so that trust can be developed between citizens, business, and government.
There are numerous flaws in city government that need to be addressed. One that comes to mind immediately is how drastically overpaid city officials are. In a city where the average per capita income is $17,648 (ranking 518th within Ohio), there are multiple department heads that make in excess of $100,000 (and others are slightly under), this is unacceptable. The best paying jobs in the city are within city government, the schools, and the hospital. We shouldn't be proud of this, we should seek to bring in businesses to change it. Next, the city needs to stop sitting idly by as the drug epidemic continues to ruin families. There needs to be a proactive movement to mend the community, which I would create by establishing a privately funded PACU, similar to the organization in Baltimore. The city also needs to eliminate the career politicians from the city and start bringing in concerned citizens that want to help make our city better, not just grow wealthy from a high-paying city job.
I am the most qualified candidate because I am completely outside the Lancaster political ruling class, completely untainted by the various corruptions the usual brand of politics harbors. My other qualifications speak for themselves: I'm ranked first in my class of over 450, active in sports and the community. I would be honored to be elected to office and have the opportunity to help get my hometown on track before attending an elite university. Neither of my opponents have been elected to office before (only appointed), so this election is a great opportunity for a genuinely new non-partisan candidate to take the reins and begin moving Lancaster into the future. No one is more qualified than an 18-year-old to see what the future of our city is and how we can make it the best it can possibly be.
As an Independent, I haven't been given huge amounts of party money like my opponents have been. Understand this money is given to them with the expectation that they do the bidding of their party and their party donors. With my candidacy, I've been blessed with smaller donations that allow me to do my outreach and be a competitor in the race without owing party favors. My only loyalties lie with the people of Lancaster, regardless of party. Can my opponents say the same?
Age 59
Education Graduate of Lancaster High School
Experience served on Lancaster City Council 2008 & 2009 served on Finance Past President of many local and state organizations trustee of Lancaster Fairfield County Charity Newsies. past VP of Fairfield Industries board past trustee of Cordle Cares.
Family Married to Carol Russell sons Dustin, Tyler and Kyle
Religion Methodist
Campaign website
Campaign email
Twitter @Tikibowl
1. Returning integrity to city government 2. Economic development 3. Lead an effort to develop a strategic plan for Lancaster's future... let's call it Lancaster 2025

* I will work with all citizens no matter party affiliation to bring back transparency to our city.

* I will work with economic directors to bring in good paying jobs, be active at the statehouse, jobs Ohio, Columbus 20/20 and smart cities to show them Lancaster wants their business to locate in our city.

* Never lose focus on whats best for Lancaster and work very close with all department heads to see what we can do to encourage companies to want to come without a bunch of loop holes to jump through.
1, Be more user friendly when wanting to build in our city 2. Drugs 3. Code enforcement

Will set down with building department heads to see what can we do to be more user friendly with residential and commercial property owners when the want to build.

I will encourage stronger policing ( hopes would to hire more officers).

Educate and rehabilitation in lieu of sentencing.

Job creation as a means to combat an individual's desire dealing in drugs as a way to earn a living.

Work with negligent landlords to clean up their properties. and Ramp up code enforcement.
I am a lifelong resident of Lancaster.

I have held leadership positions in community organizations, charitable foundations, and in my profession's trade association.. I have served on city council leadership positions and regularly attended council and committee meetings.

I am a man who has successfully help run a business for 27 years.
The Mayors job is a big one and everyone knows that. We need someone that will stand up and fight for this community. We need a fearless, passionate and smart leader. A great mayor is trustworthy, honest, ethical and compassionate. A great mayor understands how vital economic development is to a community. As Mayor I am able to negotiate and work with others to come to create and execute policies that will enable our community to thrive. I will take action to execute ideas and policy that will benefit the entire community to take Lancaster to the next level. I am able to make tough decisions that are not always popular with everyone. I am a great communicator. I would surround myself with smart and talented people that reflect my vision for this community. But I believe in the coming years for Lancaster, it's time to turn that corner and take its place in history as a great city. But to become a great city we need a great Mayor.
Age 69
Education BBA, Ohio University, 1973 Major: Accounting Minor: Economics
Experience Lead Downtown Lancaster revitalization last 3 years as Executive Director of Destination Downtown Lancaster. Prior: CPA(retired) with 40 years business experience, 32 as a business owner. Many years of board service to civic organizations
Family Married, 6 Children, 18 Grandchildren
Religion Twelve years of parochial school etched my conscience with the moral compass that I follow today.
Lancaster is a great city, one of the few mid-size Ohio cities not abutting a booming metro that has increased in population in the last 30 years. We have low unemployment, 100s of available jobs, a highly rated public and two private school systems, a thriving downtown, a park system that is the envy of other cities, a comprehensive medical center, lively cultural and museum amenities, an abundance of historic and recreational assets, easy access to the interstate highway system and two international airports, a regional university campus offering 12 associate, 12 bachelors and a handful of graduate degrees, and much more. In December 2016, Lancaster was named by Expedia Viewfinder Blog as on the the country's "17 small cities for a perfect weekend getaway." That being said, we have a lot of opportunity to buff up our image, engage the community, inventory our assets and pursue the possibilities. Everyone wants to be part of the next big thing and Lancaster is the next big thing.
The #1 priority of the next mayor is to get elected public officials off of the front page of the newspaper and get Lancaster progress and victories on the front page.

The OhioMeansJobs website daily lists over 700 job openings in Lancaster. More than 2/3 pay over $30,000. Help wanted signs are out all over the city. Small businesses are stifled, customers can't be served and the Lancaster economy suffers due to this unmet demand for help. I will work with the city & county economic development directors and the Jobs & Family Services Director of Workforce Development to design and implement programs to attract, train and retain employees to fill these vacancies. Removing this damper on our economy is key to progress.

Lancaster has the reputation of being a difficult city to move to or expand in. It is the #1 complaint I hear. That perception must change. I will implement a top to bottom review of policies, procedures, personnel, fees and rates early in my administration.
I am a US Army veteran and a CPA(retired) with a degree in accounting and a minor in economics from Ohio University. I have 40 years of business experience working with large healthcare organizations with $100s millions of revenue, hundreds of employees and multiple business locations. The city's budget is over $100 million with 440 employees. I get the numbers and the large scale operation.

For the last 3 years I have been charged with leading Downtown Lancaster revitalization as Executive Director of Destination Downtown Lancaster. Three years ago downtown had vacant storefronts, an unexciting streetscape, little or no traffic and a negative reputation. That is no longer the case. There is a waiting list for retail space, 11 restaurants within a few square blocks and the streets are filled with shoppers and diners. I demonstrated leadership, imagination, persistence and excellent communication skills for Downtown Lancaster and I am ready to step-up for the entire city.
Holding elective public office has never been on my bucket list. I was recruited to run for mayor by the citizens of Lancaster. In meetings, on the street, in restaurants and the supermarket I was approached and urged to run for mayor. Friends, acquaintances, downtown business owners and strangers made the argument - a non-politician, demonstrated success, good business experience and people skills.

I have always believed that I had the ability and responsibility to make a difference. During my adult life I have invested much time and effort in organizations and causes that improved the community or my fellow human beings. From the Chamber of Commerce Board to the Children's Services Board to mission trips to the Dominican Republic I worked to make a difference.

The citizens of Lancaster made a strong case. I have decided to step-up and accept the challenge. I believe that I can make a difference for the city by pursuing all of the wonderful possibilities that are Lancaster.
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