LIMA — A one-legged Wayne County man has plans for Ohio, and he’s looking to the governor’s seat to make it happen.
David Kiefer, who has just started his gubernatorial campaign and is collecting signatures to run as an independent in the general election, is an unknown candidate in the statewide race for governor.
The last time he held political office was in 1992 as a Wayne County Commissioner. His latest campaigns include a failed run against Ohio House Representative Scott Wiggam in 2016 in the Republican primary. He then immediately ran as a Democrat for Wayne County Commissioner the following November.
This time, he plans on avoiding the primary completely by gaining 5,000 signatures and filing as an independent. If he does, he said he’ll be a contender.
“It’s all about getting in the general election,” Kiefer said. “So once (the public) realizes it’s a three-way race rather than a two-way, you’re going to have — ‘Kiefer’ is not the most recognizable but it’s a good wholesome name.
“They say you don’t want to peak too soon, and you want to make a splash if you’re going to come on a scene. You want to come on the scene big.
“It’s all about gearing up to peak at the right time. Plus I’m the only one that’s going to have a 30-something female black running mate. So I’m going to be the first. I’m going to be the only female black one-legged ticket. I can’t embody it all myself, but I’m going to be diverse.”
Kiefer named Alena Gilmer as his running mate.
“It’s all about the general election, and think how much money and time you can save by not having to fight a primary opponent,” Kiefer said.
As for Kiefer’s platform, a high-speed rail project dominated most of his conversation. His idea was to connect the 1,600-acre Van Wert megasite with Richland County as a major east-west infrastructure project that could be extended in the future to provide a high-speed rail line between Pittsburgh and Chicago. He said the initiative could attract major tech companies such as Amazon headquarters. Such a project has been ignored, he said, by economic development organizations such as JobsOhio.
Kiefer often spends time in Lima because a family member lives in the area. He was in the area Monday because he hoped to speak about his campaign with Lima Eagles Aeries 370, he said.
“I don’t really want to live in the governer’s mansion, but I will if they say I have to,” Kiefer said.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.