If I may, allow me to be candid concerning my endorsement of Keith Gaskin. Unlike several endorsers that have preceded me, I cannot claim to have known Gaskin for many years. In fact, until the very beginning of this year, I had not heard the name Keith Gaskin in all my 18 years. In the past four months, I have learned more about Keith, his experience, his education and his character, than I have ever learned about our current administration over the course of fifteen years. I fully understand Keith’s vision and his plans for our city. We share many of the same concerns, ideas, and values. I firmly believe that he is a voice for change. He shows no interest in critiquing the past; his focus is solely on creating a brighter future.
Gaskin has rejected the idea of being center stage; instead, placing the citizens of this great American town as the primary focus of his campaign. He has no reason to seek fame or special credentials. He has already received a higher education and pursued a prestigious and well established career. By taking one glance at his career, one may quickly infer that Keith is a philanthropist who has worked extensively with several major institutions over the past decades and has dedicated virtually his entire education and career to the betterment of society. While he may have never intended to become a government official, he certainly possesses the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom to fulfill those duties.
Keith has a vision for Columbus, one that is endearing and enduring. In a thorough interview that I conducted with Keith, he expressed to me the true reason behind his campaign. Although having no intentions of holding public office, he said he looked at his new-born grandson, and thought, how can I make this a better place for him to live. This very statement brought me nearly to tears as I contemplated the future of my beloved hometown.
I love Columbus; I have lived here virtually my entire life. Before and after graduating high school, I have been offered several opportunities from colleges and universities to leave this town for “bigger and better.” No matter how much I try to convince myself, I can never seem to pack my bags and leave. I guess the saying really is true: Home is where the heart is. June 8th will be the first election I have ever voted in, and I implore anyone reading this article who is an eligible voter to get out there and vote your heart. I trust that each of us know the right decision to make, and I hope the feeling is mutual.
Judah Bennett, Columbus