Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Race Is On

The Hamilton County GOP has announced that it is endorsing Brad Wenstrup for Cincinnati mayor. His resume is interesting, although unconventional. He's an Iraq war veteran who's never held elected office. Currently, he's a podiatrist.

The only thing that I know about his take on any issues, based on the Enquirer's coverage and his own website, is that he opposes the streetcar proposal. That'll turn about ten percent of City residents (and 90% of this blog's readership) into rabid opponents and another ten percent into faithful supporters. Most people (me, for instance) aren't going to be driven to the polls based on a candidate's stance on the streetcar (I'm just not going to get worked up over a proposal that has little chance of coming into fruition, given the difficulty of finding private investment dollars in the current economic climate).

I'm not sure that Dr. Wenstrup's lack of experience is a critical issue, given the relative weakness of the mayor under the current charter. Day-to-day, nuts-and-bolts executive operations are really handled by the city manager. So it'll be interesting to see what Wenstrup's positions on various issues are, and what he sees as the mayor's top priorities over the next four years.

So unless another candidate comes forward, it looks like the mayor's race will be Wenstrup vs. Mallory. Mallory is the clear favorite at this early stage, but I hope the election will at least provide the opportunity for interesting debate regarding competing visions for the city.

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