Veteran Columbus Auditor Hugh Dorrian will pit his nearly 48 years of public-finance experience against political newcomer Igor Ternovsky in the Nov. 5 general election.
Dorrian, a Democrat, spent four years in the city treasurer's office before being elected to the city auditor's post in 1969.
"Maybe I deserve a survivor's badge," Dorrian said. "I have to say I'm very grateful and humbled by the consistent vote of confidence the voters have given to me. I take it as a sacred trust."
Ternovsky, an independent, said his candidacy allows voters the opportunity to vote against the status quo.
"This city needs a fresh independent approach that will keep the City Council and mayor accountable," he said
Dorrian, who lives in Northwest Columbus, just east of the Upper Arlington border, said his experience and education give him an edge.
He has a bachelor's degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from Ohio State University and was a certified public accountant in the private sector before being hired by the city.
"Obviously, in this number of years, I gained a rather broad knowledge of city finance," Dorrian said.
Ternovsky, also of Northwest Columbus, said he's a startup entrepreneur who considers the city of Columbus a "failed business that needs a turn-around strategy."
He said one of the biggest problems facing the city is widespread poverty.
"Columbus should start learning from the best suburbs and concentrate on raising the average income level in the city," he said.
"I plan to do this by evaluating the decisions of the City Council and voicing support for everything that improves the income level."
There are roughly 100 people in the auditor's office, which has an annual budget of $10.8 million. The position pays an annual salary of $160,000.
Dorrian, 78, said he was a staunch supporter of raising the city's income tax from 2 to 2.5 percent, a measure that was approved by voters in 2009.
"Without that additional money, you really would be living in a different city today," Dorrian said.
Ternovsky, 35, cited Dorrian's age as an issue.
Dorrian's response: "As far as age as an issue, I'll let the voters decide that."