Sunday, July 23, 2023

Cincinnati City Council Election July 2023 Update

Are there going to be more than ten candidates for Cincinnati City Council? There is barely anyone outside of the nine endorsed Democrats and the one Republican who has any online campaign presence. Simple social media content is the cheapest and quickest way to actually have a campaign and I can find few with any presence. That lack of any online footprint means they have limited their ability to raise any funds. It is difficult to raise money and wage any type of campaign at this late stage without a political party or other PAC endorsements.

The deadline to turn in signatures to get on the ballot is just over a month away, August 24, and at this point any serious candidate would be raising money. I only see 10-11 serious candidates currently and Jamie Castle is the 11th who at this point would be on the ballot, but after she did not get the Democratic Party endorsement, she made a comment to the media that she may not run.  So far she has not withdrawn her petitions.

The only variables in the race that could shake things up as if now is the outcome of the August 9th special election and if the Reproductive Rights ballot issue that is in process to be approved for the General Election in November.  The outcomes of those items will GREATLY alter the turnout in November.

If the Issue 1 No vote wins in August and Reproductive rights are on the ballot in November, turnout will be much higher in the City and that should be highest amongst voters who favor Reproductive Rights.  That turnout would play havoc with a City Council Race with only a smaller number of candidates on the ballot.

If there were only 12 to 15 candidates on the ballot and only really 12 candidates with a viable chance, that could mean that the last 2 seats would really be in play.  That assumes that seven Democrats, all of the elected incumbents, would be safe.  That is not a done deal, but there would need to be a very big shift from the last election to alter the results this year.  I don't see that happening.

The Demographics of Cincinnati have not changed significantly since 2021.  The only big variable would be for turnout to change the demo of those who vote.  That is possible, but with a small number of credible candidates, voters are not going to just vote for other without a reason.

The open window, which always exists in Council Races, is for a well known candidate to enter the race late.  As far as any person who has taken out petitions thus far, 12 is the max who anyone would consider a credible candidate.  The only bait and switch that could occur would be that one or more of the individuals who have taken out petitions are actually doing it on behalf of another candidate.  An unusual and unlikely occurrence, but not impossible.

The inclusion of local tax levies and the Railroad Sale to the ballot will also drive out turnout, even if the Reproductive Rights issue is not on the ballot, so that also can make things interesting, but in the City the type of voter those issues tend to get out to vote are conservatives, which is not a large demographic for Council elections.

My prediction is that less than 20 people will be on the ballot and 15 would be the number I would bet on at the point.  Candidates who wait until the last minute and don't have any campaign actually going are going to be long shots, so if no campaigns show any sense of life in the next few weeks, I would say no one new is coming out of the wood work.

What is so funny, is that Republicans and Charterites were largely responsible for the return to two year terms for members of council. They feared the Dems would maintain majorities with 4 year terms and lock in support.  It appears, with neither group showing any sign of supporting candidates, that Dems got the same thing with two year terms.  That is jumping the gun, but we are on track for Dems winning a majority on council before a single vote is cast.

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)
Michelle Dillingham (D)
James Jenkins (C)
Linda Matthews (R)
Catherine Botos (I)
Rufus Bowman III (I)
Audricia Brooks (I)
Lawrence Brzezinski II (I)
Kaitlin Estill (I)
Richardo Hayward (I)
Ned Measel (I)
Boyd Miller (R)
William Moore (I)
Stephan Pryor (I)
Quentin Taylor (I)
Kelley Cowdrey (R)
Gwendolyn Edogun (I)

Taken Out Petitions, But Do Not Appear to Live in the City
Sharetha Collier (I)
Andrew Kennedy (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.