MANSFIELD -- Don Bryant said Wednesday he is ready to finish what he started 10 months ago when he announced his campaign for Mansfield mayor.'
"I know what the hell I am doing. I am ready to move our city forward. We're at the finish line and we're ready for a win on November 5th. Let's get it. Today, I rest my case," he said during the weekly Richland County Democratic Party luncheon.
Bryant is challenging two-term incumbent Republican Mayor Tim Theaker on Tuesday's ballot.
Nearing the end of his first term as an at-large member of Mansfield City Council, the 34-year-old Bryant said he has focused his campaign on improving the city's economy.
"My candidacy has been focused, because our city is hurting, on driving our economy forward," he said.
"(Theaker) can't look me in the eye and tell me what as a mayor of a city with at least 46,000 people ... what have you done to come up with a city business plan ...a strategy to move Mansfield forward? You have had eight years and we still don't have a plan moving forward," Bryant said.
Bryant said Theaker's administration is misleading people.
"He says he got the city out of fiscal emergency," Bryant said. "No, he didn't. The State of Ohio came in here and opened shop. They set up a fiscal emergency committee. Tim didn't do that."
Bryant said Mansfield Finance Director Linn Steward has warned the administration and the city that revenues have flattened in recent years.
"Mayor, what are you doing? Bring some business into the city. Doing more of the same is going to yield the same results," Bryant said.
"We can no longer think small and believe that big results will follow. We have to think big and we have to be smart about what we're doing moving forward," he said.
Bryant said his administration would push a "Made in Mansfield" slogan into reality.
"The next mayor, which will be me, has to communicate the message that Mansfield is open for business. Once you go the Mansfield way, you will not wanna go back," he said.
(Thursday: Richland Source offers final preview of the Bryant-Theaker race to become Mansfield's next mayor.)