Friday, May 19, 2023

Cincinnati City Council Election May 2023 Update

In 2017 we knew by the end of April who was endorsed as a Democratic Candidate for City Council. Prior to that they endorsed 10 candidates in 2013 and it was a mess. In 2021 there was pointless drama when the progressive wing wanted to endorse a candidate that attacked the party in favor of extremist policies. I don't have any foolish expectations that this year will be any different. With seven elected incumbents (and one appointed incumbent) the process should logically be different. The Hamilton County Democratic Party just this week published a notice that the Cincinnati Democratic Committee will be holding a meeting on May 25th to vote on the party endorsements. I've heard little chatter about this year's endorsement round, but there not many active non-incumbent candidates making much noise, so this election cycle everything has been near silence in public.    Last month the party published the notice of the endorsement processes and it included a key provision on candidate interviews, something I don't recall seeing before:

Candidates must have petition signatures submitted and reported as “Sufficient” by the Hamilton County Board of Elections staff before their endorsement interview.
 As of Friday evening there are only eight candidates with their petitions reported as sufficient. That includes only six incumbents of eight.  I don't know if the previously elected incumbents are required to be interviewed again. The notice was not specific on that point. The only appointed member of City Council, Seth Walsh, has turned his signatures in to the BOE.  There are only two non-incumbents with signatures submitted, Anna Albi and Jamie Caslte. Both are approved for the ballot.  That leaves two questions for the process: 1) Will all incumbents get endorsed and 2) Which of the two non-incumbents will get endorsed.  Of course it is possible that the answer to #1 is no and that makes the presumption that both non-incumbents would be endorsed. There is no indication that the Democratic Party has any intention to upend the process.  There are not any candidates that have any public negatives that would mean squandering the advantages of incumbency to the election. That leaves the endorsement choice between Castle and Albi. 

The Hamilton County Republican Party just updated their website this week to show the new chairman that was elected months ago.  They don't seem to want to bother with much promotion of their City Council candidate(s).  The local elections they are successful in Hamilton County are small monolithic areas that rarely have any actual competition. At this point if they had any candidates other than Liz Keating for Cincinnati City Council, that candidate would be campaigning in the City (at least online.)  I see no one other Republican candidates with a serious chance of getting elected in the City.

Charter Committee appears to be adrift.  There is no evidence of any candidates that will be on the ballot, except a likely cross endorsement of Republican Liz Keating. 2021 was terrible election for Charter. It was nothing short of a blood bath. I don't know what it will take for Charter to get back on its feet.  There is at least one person on the Charter Board who is not going to help bring them back from the brink. If anything this person is going to drive them off the deep end into permanent oblivion.

Here are the 26 candidates who have taken out petitions so far. I would be surprised if any other credible candidates take out petitions and I would not be surprised that only 15-18 candidates actually make the ballot.

Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney (D)
Reggie Harris (D)
Meeka Owens (D)
Victoria Parks (D)
Jeff Cramerding (D)
Mark Jeffreys (D)
Scotty Johnson (D)
Liz Keating (R,C)
Seth Walsh (D)

Taken Out Petitions
Anna Albi (D)
Jamie Castle (I)
LaKeisha Cook (I)
James Jenkins (C)
Andrew Kennedy (I)
Linda Matthews (R)
Catherine Botos (D)
Rufus Bowman III (I)
Audricia Brooks (D)
Lawrence Brzezinski II (I)
Sharetha Collier (D)
Kaitlin Estill (I)
Ned Measel (I)
Boyd Miller (R)
William Moore (I)
Stephan Pryor (D)
Quentin Taylor (I)

Candidate Twitter List: I have created a list of candidates on Twitter. Here is the actual list Twitter handles for the candidates. This list may not last as Twitter turns into a chaotic mess and not a valued website. A future update to the Blog may be a either a separate page with additional links to social media of the candidates or an update to the listing above. Stay tuned for that.

As always:  If anyone has any other names please send them my way ( or if anyone named above wants to confirm they are not running, I'll remove them future postings of this list. If there are other social media or full websites I don't list, send them along as well.

The party designations at this time are what I've seen reported or what I've determined based on my observations. These notations do not mean the candidate is endorsed by any political party or group. Once official endorsements are made, these references will be updated to reflect the endorsements. 

* = Incumbent
‡ = On Ballot
D= Democratic Party
R= Republican Party
C= Charter Committee (aka Charter Party)
G= Green Party
DSA= Democratic Socialists of America
I= Independent
?= I am speculating based on my reading of the information and observations available to me or unsure.