Light declares candidacy for mayor

Cary Ashby • Updated Dec 21, 2018 at 12:45 PM

Dave Light, of Norwalk, retired police chief and an officer for 34 years, announced Thursday his candidacy for the mayor of Norwalk.

“This is not a political thing; this is doing what’s best for the city of Norwalk,” said Light, who will run as a Democrat. “I think there’s so much more that we can be doing that we’re not doing.

“I am pleased to announce my candidacy for mayor of the city of Norwalk. As a lifelong resident, I have always been an active member of our community. I have decided to run to give the people of our great city a true voice who will both listen to and address their concerns.”

Light picked up his petition Wednesday from the Huron County Board of Elections.

“I have until February to submit them. I probably will have them done in the next couple weeks,” he said. 

“I had a lot of encouragement from friends and family,” added Light, who has been surprised with receiving significant support from the local business community. “People have put politics aside and given me a lot of a support.”

Light retired Feb. 16 after serving nearly nine years as chief. He was acting mayor for eight years and currently is a pre-trial probation officer through Huron County Common Pleas Court.

Before becoming a police officer and after graduating from Norwalk High School in 1975, Light worked at Norwalk Furniture for 10 years.

“It was a great place to work,” said Light, who noted many local residents and their relatives have been at Norwalk Furniture over the years.

Light owned the Norwalk Barbell Club with Mark Hehrer for six years before he went into law enforcement. Light said there were many local officers and state troopers who worked out there and encouraged him to enter the police academy.

The NHS graduate worked his way up the ranks in the police department. After about 18 months as a reserve officer, Light was hired as a full-time cop Sept. 18, 1984. His first promotion, to sergeant, came in 1990 and he earned a promotion to captain in 2002. Light also was a detective for 12 years.

“During my time as an officer with the Norwalk Police Department, I was fortunate to gain valuable insight about the concerns and issues in our community through daily interactions with its people. I also obtained much experience in the fields of professionalism, leadership and mayoral duties while serving as acting mayor for two different administrations during my time as (the) chief of police,” he said. “I absolutely loved law enforcement.”

If he is elected, Light said he wants to “work with anybody and everybody who wants to improve the town.”

“The relationships I’ve built over the years will help me connect (with) this community on a deeper level, build new relationships and be accessible to those who wish to have their concerns heard. As mayor, I intend to contribute to the betterment of our city by focusing on economic development, (the) prevention of deficit spending and addressing the ongoing drug problem that continues to jeopardize the safety and family values of our community,” Light added.

“Norwalk is an amazing city full of generations of wonderful, generous people who always rise to the occasion; (it has) great school systems and an unparalleled workforce. I will strive to preserve and enhance these qualities.”

Rob Duncan, a Republican, is in his second four-year term as the mayor. As of Thursday, he hadn’t picked up his petition from the board of elections.

In early July, Norwalk City Councilman Dave Wallace declared his candidacy for mayor as a Republican. He is a Realtor and served the city as a Norwalk firefighter for more than 16 years. Wallace also received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force.

Noting “I’m no politician,” Light said he decided to run for mayor because it’s time to do more for the city where he was born and has lived his entire life. He plans to run a positive and upbeat campaign.

“It’s time to give back. You don’t go for that position for the money because that’s absolutely the wrong thing to do,” Light said. “I think it’s time to give back and do my civic duty.”

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