The race is on in Gahanna for three mayoral hopefuls in the May 7 primary.

The candidates include Laurie A. Jadwin, 1222 Pond Hollow Lane; Ryan Jolley, 225 W. Johnstown Road; and Stephen A. Renner, 740 Quaker Ridge Court.

The top two vote-getters in the primary will advance to the Nov. 5 general election.

Laurie A. Jadwin

Jadwin, 56, has been executive director of the Gahanna Convention and Visitors Bureau since 2013.

She said she and her husband, Jay, are longtime Gahanna residents, having chosen to make the city their home in May 1992.

"Since then, we have raised two daughters in the Gahanna community, both of whom are Gahanna Lincoln High School graduates," she said. "I have watched Gahanna grow from a small town to a community that has many wonderful residents and businesses."

For more than 20 years, Jadwin said, she has volunteered both in church and within the city while running her own law practice, representing several Fortune 500 companies in central Ohio.

"In my role as executive director of Visit Gahanna, I interact regularly with representatives from cities all around the Columbus region -- cities that we are in direct competition with for residents, businesses and visitors," Jadwin said.

"I believe that Gahanna is a warm and welcoming community that still has potential to be so much more. My experiences both in working with local businesses in Gahanna and in engaging with other communities have made me understand the importance of smart economic development -- that is, economic development that makes sense for the residents of Gahanna and for our business community," she said.

She said her vision for Gahanna is for all residents and businesses to view Gahanna as a community where they have a home, not just a city in which they live or do business.

Jadwin received a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in Pittsburgh in 1987. She also has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

She served as board president of the visitors bureau from 2009-13 and a Gahanna Events Board member from 2006-08.

Jadwin has been a sole practitioner in law since 1997.

She and her husband are parents of two adult daughters, Sarah Chrobak (husband, Steven Chrobak); and Emily Jadwin.

She is a member of many Gahanna organizations, including the Gahanna Rotary and Gahanna Area Chamber of Commerce, and she's on the steering committee of Gahanna Neighborhood Bridges.

Jadwin founded and led the youth choir at St. Matthew the Apostle Catholic Church for 18 years.

Ryan Jolley

Jolley, 36, works for the city in the Gahanna Department of Public Service and Engineering.

He is a former public school teacher, manager and small-business owner. He's also a former member of the Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education and Gahanna City Council. He was elected to the school board when he was 18 and served from 2002 to 2005. He served on council from 2012 to 2015.

"I'm running for mayor to ensure that the next generation has the same great opportunities that I had growing up in Gahanna," Jolley said. "Working together, I believe we can preserve our small-town feel while planning for future opportunities.

"I have the education, experience and passion to modernize our local government," he said.

He said the city can provide better services, reduce costs and be more transparent about how government is spending tax dollars.

If elected, "I will balance the budget while fixing our roads and improving our parks and senior center, maintaining a great quality of life for all of our residents," Jolley said. "Lastly, we'll work on easing the burden for older residents and those living on a fixed income. I've already visited with hundreds of voters across Gahanna, and I look forward to speaking with (others) and earning (their) support."

Jolley has master's degrees in business administration, public administration and education, and bachelor's degrees in economics and political science from Ohio State University.

He's also a board member of several nonprofit organizations, including Gahanna Inclusion For Teens and Young Adults.

Jolley said he is not married.

Stephen A. Renner

Renner, 52, is director of the Franklin County Department of Sanitary Engineering, where he actively plans for and manages the sanitary-engineering agency.

Renner said he is responsible for the utility services of about 6,000 customers, an annual budget of about $20 million and a team of 25 employees, as well as the management of mutually beneficial partnerships with economic developers, public health agencies and municipalities.

"I'm running for mayor because I want to unite our city, both metaphorically and literally," he said. "I've heard loud and clear the call from Gahanna's residents -- people want to feel more connected to each other and to City Hall."

Renner said he wants to transform people's experience of local government into something more relevant to life in 2019.

If elected, "I'll invest in infrastructure responsibly, but I'll focus on the quality of life issues that matter most to our residents," he said. "With the recent failures of a tax initiative and the looming budget crisis, we need a leader who has repeated experience building strong teams, taking on tough issues and responsibly navigating multiple-million-dollar budgets of taxpayers' money."

Renner has been elected three times to serve Ward 1 on Gahanna City Council, where he also has served as president in 2013 and 2016.

He has a bachelor's degree in chemistry with a minor in physics from Otterbein College.

Renner has been involved in various organizations, including service on the Gahanna Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors, Gahanna Certified Tourism Ambassador, Gahanna Civil Service Commission, Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools school board (environmental committee), Gahanna Soccer Association, Columbus Council of Ethical Leadership, Leadership Columbus, Rebuilding Together Columbus, Otterbein College (adjunct faculty), Drive Electric Ohio and Clean Fuels Ohio.

He and his wife, Melissa, are parents of two sons, Liam, 15, and Callum,12.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla