W. Carlton Weddington was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He attended both private and public schools, graduating from Westerville North High in 1988. Carlton spent his collegiate years in Virginia, where he graduated with a B.S. in political science from Hampton University in 1992. Weddington was a member of the men’s tennis team that won an NCAA Division II national championship his freshman year, volunteered for L. Douglas Wilder, Virginia’s first African-American Governor, and pledged Omega Psi Phi fraternity his senior year.
After graduation, Carlton returned to Columbus and became heavily involved in political campaigning. He became a paid staffer for U.S. Senator John Glenn’s reelection campaign in 1992. Several campaigns across the country and years later, Carlton had become a recognized seasoned campaign operative. He returned to Columbus to work for his mentor, Les Wright, as her aide at Columbus City Council. The next opportunity came about working for the newly elected County Clerk of Courts as an Auto Title multi-branch manager. Carlton was an active community leader, serving on several non-profit boards such as I Know I Can, helping to reform and later becoming a board member of Columbus and Franklin County’s new Community Action Agency. Weddington was voted “Most Likely to Run for School Board” and “Most Likely to Run for Mayor” by his Leadership Columbus class. He co-founded and led in its first year The New Leaders – Columbus. Carlton was initiated into St. Mark’s #7 Prince Hall Masonic Lodge and Lambda chapter of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity in consecutive years. Ebony magazine names him one of the year’s “30 Leaders of the Future Under 30,” and Columbus’ Business First magazine did the same in their “40 under 40” edition.
No longer wanting to remain behind the scenes, Weddington ran and won for a seat on the controversial Columbus Board of Education in 2005. While serving the school district, Weddington worked as a legislative liaison for the Franklin County DJFS. In 2008, Weddington won the 27th Ohio House District seat, and was reelected again in 2010.
As a freshman legislator, Rep. Weddington served as Vice Chair of the Local Government committee, served on Education, Agriculture, FIRES, and the Ohio MLK, Jr. Commission, and served as an officer of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus. During his tenure in the Ohio House, Rep. Weddington also served on the powerful Finance Committee, and was appointed to the Fatherhood African-American Male Commission, the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee and the Death Penalty Task Force.
Rep. Weddington traveled the world participating as a member and delegate of the American Council of Young Political Leaders (China ’09) and the American Swiss Foundation (Switzerland ’11). A staunch advocate for minority and urban issues such as equal opportunity and access to jobs, protection of voting rights, access to quality education, food and health care and criminal justice reform, Weddington came under fire for stances he took. In 2012, Rep. Weddington won his 2012 primary election, but was forced to resign after being indicted of alleged bribery and campaign finance falsification, convicted as a result of an FBI sting operation.
Now serving a three year prison sentence, Weddington desires to return him to a better and balanced life. It is his ambition to continue to serve, rebuild his reputation and the trust of the community he once represented. In August 2014, the former Ohio state lawmaker will be eligible for judicial release.
Weddington is currently writing an inspirational and motivational book entitled Wait Quietly for an April Time to shaw in his own unique way the story of his years of success and failure. Weddington believes he has a lot more living and work to do, and his last quote has yet to be given or written about.