Prizm News / December 10, 2018 / By Prizm News

Rick Neal addresses the crowd at a Gay Street dance party held in June to highlight Vice President Mike Pence’s record on LGBTQ issues. (Prizm photo by Staley Munroe)

15 candidates will be interviewed by council members, who will select the first of two new colleagues in January.


By Prizm News

Former congressional candidate Rick Neal is among 15 finalists for two upcoming vacancies on the Columbus City Council. 


The openly gay Democrat, along with other finalists, will be interviewed in private by council members this week and in early January. They’ll take part in a public hearing on Thursday, Jan. 10. 

One of the new appointees, to be chosen on Jan. 14, will succeed council member Jaiza Page, who was elected in November as a judge of the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. 

The second appointee will be chosen on March 11 to succeed council member Michael Stinziano, who was elected Franklin County auditor but doesn’t take office until spring. 

Neal, a first-time political candidate, lost in November to four-term Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District. He won 60 percent of the vote, though, in German Village and other Columbus precincts that are inside the district. 

Neal is one of two LGBTQ finalists for the council vacancies. Catherine Girves, the executive director of Yay Bikes, a local advocacy group, is bisexual.

Other finalists for the positions are:

• Nicholas Bankston, manager of neighborhood transformation strategies for the city.

• Lourdes Barroso De Padilla, director of the Latina Mentoring Academy.

• Stefanie Coe, general counsel for MPW Industrial Services.

• Nancy Day-Achauer, a United Methodist Church pastor.

• Rob Dorans, legal counsel for the Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation of Ohio.

• Albert Edmonson, owner of A Cut Above the Rest barbershop.

•  Shayla D. Favor, an assistant city attorney.

• Chenelle Jones, chair of public safety programs at Franklin University.

• Marco Miller, an insurance agent.

• Michelle Moskowitz Brown, executive director of Local Matters.

• Ramona Reyes, a member of the Columbus schools board.

• Sam Shim, a member of the Worthington school board.

• Erin Synk, government affairs director for LNE Group.