Seth Dobbelaer is running for Newark City Council At-Large. A Newark native, Seth is committed to serving the community that he has always called home. Seth’s background is unique, and his experiences provide him with intimate knowledge of the challenges faced by citizens of Newark and Licking County. His deep drive to help others enables him to balance multiple public service commitments while laboring as a farmer, general contractor, and most recently as a Loaned Executive to the United Way of Licking County. Seth believes all people should have a fair chance to build a good life, and this is what he wants most for his fellow citizens.
Seth’s homeschooling was a beneficial educational opportunity that supplemented traditional learning with the freedom to spend time volunteering. He chose to contribute to organizations that provide positive experiences for special needs and underprivileged youth, including ARC and the Amesville-New England parish camps. This inclination to serve is the fruit of an upbringing in which his parents and family instilled in him the importance of giving back.
Running to serve as council member for Newark’s 6th ward in 2017 was a natural outgrowth of these formative influences on Seth’s life and character. Though he was a first-time candidate, Seth’s platform, charisma, and passion to serve earned him endorsements from first-responder organizations, unions, and Newark city council members. Many community members were inspired to join together to support his campaign.
From his family Seth also learned the value of hard work. His mother is a professional seamstress, and his father, alongside whom Seth worked as a child, is an independent general contractor. Seth has primarily earned his living as a laborer and small-business owner, and he and his brother are co-operators of Charlie’s Apples, an organic apple farm in north Licking County. These experiences of hard work, and Seth’s choice to make his living by the sweat of his brow, give him empathy for the experiences of laborers, tradespeople, and non-salaried workers in Newark, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet.
During his 2017 campaign, Seth was one of a small contingent of Ohioans selected to represent the state at that year’s Young Democrats of America convention in Dallas, Texas. This experience sharpened Seth’s understanding of coalition building and how to better communicate with decision makers on a range of policy issues.
Losing that first campaign did not dilute Seth’s motivation to serve his community. His current and recent involvement includes:
Currently Elected to the Licking County Soil & Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors (2019-2022)
Recipient of the Newark Advocate’s 20 Under 40 designation (2018)
United Way of Licking County Community Impact Division - Children, Youth, and Families Panel
Licking Memorial Hospital Community Cornerstone Campaign committee member (2018)
United Church of Granville Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the church’s stewardship committee
Canal Market District Vendor Advisory Committee
Licking County Historic Jail - Jailbreak 5K Organizer
Recording Secretary for the Licking County Democratic Club (2018)