On Jan. 22, Westfield High School varsity football coach and Westfield City Council member Jake Gilbert announced his 2023 mayoral bid.
Gilbert, who also works as the WHS dean of wellness, was elected to the city council in 2020.
He said he’s running for mayor because he wants to give back to the city.
“I just love the city so much, and the city’s been so good to me,” said Gilbert, 45. “I just want to be able to lead and give back in a bigger way than what I currently am. We’ve done the teaching, coaching and community service for over a decade now, and I just feel like this city needs what I can provide and that I’d love to serve the city. So, I think it’s a perfect fit.”
Gilbert said he’s “not a politician” and that somebody who’s not political could be beneficial in the mayoral role.
“Politics won’t be driving my decisions,” Gilbert said. “I’d rather just do what’s best for the residents of Westfield and not political favors. I think my time on the city council has really brought about the desire to do this.”
Gilbert said he has some ideas on where he wants to guide the city if elected, but right now he’s just listening and learning.
“The city council is giving me a great opportunity to do that – to meet with people and listen and learn,” Gilbert said. “My biggest focus right now in my current job and in the future is to reunite this city. Right now, our government is very separated, and we don’t have synergy anywhere. I think I can lead us back to where we are all working together.”
Gilbert is the president of the Wellbeing Coalition of Westfield, and he is involved in many other organizations including Young Life, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Open Doors Food Pantry, Westfield Youth Assistance Program, Special Olympics and Riley’s Children Hospital. He has awarded more than 30 scholarships, founded Westfield’s Freshman Mentor Program and initiated an Opioid Awareness Campaign and the Shamrock Save a Life Walk. On the football field, Gilbert led WHS to the State Championship game. WHS won the state championship game in 2016. Gilbert received the Power of Influence Award, the highest award given to high school coaches, in both 2020 and 2021. Outside of work and volunteering, he and his family enjoy exercise and visiting the beach. Gilbert likes to read, watch movies and said he enjoys competition.
“It’s been the biggest blessing to live here, and I truly just want to give back,” Gilbert said. “This isn’t to grind an ax or advance myself. This is just out of a desire to love and lead Westfield.”
The Gilberts attend Northview Christian Church, where Gilbert also volunteers his time.
For more, visit jakegilbertformayor.com.