By Bob Vitale

Above: Megan Kilgore is sworn in as Columbus city auditor by Hugh Dorrian, her predecessor and mentor who is retiring after 48 years in the office. (Prizm photo)

Retiring Columbus City Auditor Hugh Dorrian had some advice Thursday for his successor, who was elected in November by the widest margin of any candidate on the municipal ballot. 

“Stay being Megan Kilgore,” Dorrian said before administering the oath of office to his former deputy, who served 11 years in the auditor’s office and will be the first openly gay person to serve in one of Columbus’ three executive-branch offices. 

“Being Megan Kilgore is what brought everyone to respect you,” Dorrian said. 

Kilgore, 35, was sworn in at City Hall before a crowd that needed to use the City Council chambers’ balcony for additional seating. 

She thanked her small family and large “chosen family.” She thanked fiancee Steffy Goldberg, whom she called “a saint.” 

Kilgore recalled her campaign to succeed Dorrian, who has served as city auditor for 48 years and gets much of the credit for its financial stability and high marks from creditors. Voters asked often what she would do differently than Dorrian, she said. 

“It was a question of fear, not of desire,” she joked. 

Kilgore ticked off some of the ways she differs from Dorrian, who is retiring at age 82 and has served as city auditor for almost a quarter of Columbus’ 206 years as a city. 

“Only one of us carries an iPhone,” she said, referring to herself. “Only one of us wears a belt and suspenders both,” she said, referring to her mentor. 

Among their common traits, Kilgore said: “We both can be remarkably spontaneous if given enough time to plan for it.” 

She said they both love the city, too. 

“I hope to do Mr. Dorrian proud,” she said. 

Kilgore’s four-year term begins on Monday. She is one of 17 LGBTQ Ohioans elected to city and village councils, school boards and other municipal offices in November who will start their terms with the new year.