Columbus Free Press Editor Bob Fitrakis received 8042 votes, more than 6% of the votes cast in a 10-person field for Columbus City Council in the May 6 primary. Fitrakis came within less than 2% of the votes needed to knock off the endorsed Republican candidate John Jones. In modern Columbus history, the Free Press could not find any third-party candidate who has come as close to unseating an endorsed major party candidate. Fitrakis was endorsed by the Central Ohio Green Party and came in 9th, although only the top 8 candidates advanced to the fall election.

The mainstream media did not present the results from the perspective of a third party candidate nearly toppling an endorsed candidate of the Franklin County Republican Party, the Columbus Dispatch did provide straightforward coverage of Fitrakis’ policies as a Green Party candidate. The Alive provided the best in-depth coverage of the campaign. Both This Week and the Messenger publications provided fair and accurate coverage of the Green Party campaign.

NBC channel 4 even aired a spot including Fitrakis’ attack on the drug war and 10TV provided a decent profile. Not bad for a candidate who openly advocates trying the U.S. President as a war criminal. Not surprisingly, the worst media coverage was in the Other Paper, owned by former Celeste political hack Max Brown. Dan Williamsen, best known in journalism for writing for a pay-to-print, electronic publication at the Statehouse, summed up the entire campaign by asking, did it really matter if Bob Fitrakis or John Jones advanced in the fall election?

Look forward to more of the astute Williamsen-Danny Russell strictly suburban analysis in the fall since Fitrakis has now announced that he is running for Columbus School Board and has the support of longtime member Bill Moss.