3rd Ward candidate: Gary Jenkins

Staff report

Gary Jenkins

Candidate for 3rd Ward City Council Seat

1.Explain a little about yourself.

My name is Gary Jenkins, and I am a Christian, an American, and a Conservative, in that order. I am a small business owner and a lifelong resident of Oakland Avenue. I am endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police (Scioto Lodge #33), the Republican Club of Scioto County, the Ohio Young Republicans, the Scioto County Young Republicans, the Shawnee State University College Republicans, and the Anchor Pad Boat Club. I am also endorsed by Scioto County Commissioner Cathy Coleman.

2. What made you decide to run for public office?

I am running for City Council so that I can work to find common-sense solutions to the issues we face as a community. We need to focus on our infrastructure; we must repair our roads, our water filtration system, and our sewers. Without this, we cannot foster an environment friendly to business growth and economic development.

3. What makes you qualified to run?

My experience as a small business owner has given me insight as to how Portsmouth can become a more business-friendly community. This should be the top priority for our city council. When businesses thrive in Portsmouth, the citizens thrive. In addition, I know what it takes to build a winning movement. I was employed by the Ohio Republican Party to run President Donald J. Trump’s campaign in Southern Ohio in 2020. Our team helped President Trump win Scioto County by a larger margin than any president since 1928. During my time with the Ohio Republican Party, I made important and lasting connections with key decision makers at the state and local levels. These connections will be vital in ensuring the City of Portsmouth’s voice is heard in Columbus.

4. What do you feel are the top three concerns for your area?

#1 – ROADS! – Take a drive down Coles Boulevard and you’ll understand why this is a problem. The city’s roads are in terrible condition. Potholes and bumps are littering our streets. Road signs are in disrepair. Our city is experiencing an infrastructure crisis.

#2 – Fiscal Stability – Our leaders don’t like to talk about this, but our city is currently under fiscal watch due to decades of mismanagement. This is unacceptable.

#3 – Economic Development – Our city council isn’t focused on economic development. Council is too distracted by vanity projects and social issues. Council must focus on the business of the people.

5. How do you plan to address those concerns if elected?

All three of these problems have a mutual solution. We must cut frivolous and wasteful spending. For too long, millions of your tax dollars have been used to fund vanity projects and lawsuits. We can fix our roads, get out of fiscal watch, and develop our economy- and we can do it without raising your taxes. In building our infrastructure- our streets, our water filtration systems, and our sewers- we will attract new businesses and families to our community.

6. How do you plan to bring business into your area or help small businesses already there?

As stated previously, building up our infrastructure will be key to Portsmouth’s economic success. In addition, the city must collaborate with county and regional economic development partners. I am familiar with these entities, and I have worked with many of them in the past.

7. How do you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process?

Prior to and throughout the course of this campaign, I have met with citizen groups, businesses, nonprofit organizations, labor unions, and individuals to discuss the issues facing our resilient city. Their priorities have become my priorities, and I will be a fighter for all of them. Citizens with questions or concerns can call me at any time, day or night, at (740) 550-1525 (my personal cell phone number).

8. If elected, what three steps would you take to put your city/township on a firmer financial footing?

It’s going to take a lot more than three steps to get Portsmouth out of fiscal watch. Areas of focus will be cutting wasteful spending and reappropriating city dollars to priority infrastructure projects. These two actions will facilitate economic development in our city, which will then grow our population and tax base.

9. What would be your first act of business if elected?

My very first act of business on Portsmouth City Council would be to vote in a mayor. The position of mayor is more than just a ceremonial title. The mayor represents Portsmouth at state-level functions and leads council meetings. I intend to vote for someone who will represent the city with dignity- not someone who fans the flames of division and directly contributes to the multiple crises we face as a city.

10. Anything else you would like the voters to know?

I hope to earn your support and vote. It is absolutely vital to our city’s future that we elect common-sense Conservatives to City Council. Election Day is on November 2nd, and I ask that you vote for me so that we can get Portsmouth back on track. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. Again, you can contact me directly at (740)550-1525.


Staff report