Sunday, August 27, 2023

Cincinnati City Council Election August 2023 Update

There are 11 candidates for the 2023 Cincinnati City Council election. The August 24th deadline to turn in petitions came and went this week and no additional candidates turned any in.  That is the smallest number of candidates in decades, at least since 1989 and likely longer ago. There are nine Democrats, one Republican, and one Independent candidate running. Charter has yet to officially announce any cross endorsements they may be doing this year, but they would logically repeat the one candidate in this race who was cross endorsed in 2021, Republican Liz Keating.

One candidate, Richardo Hayward, turned in petitions, but had an insufficient number of valid signatures to qualify. He could still appeal this decision if he was close to the 500 signatures needed, but he likely was not close enough to find any variance to make up the difference.

This will be an election with both a foregone conclusion for a Democratic victory and a real race for the last two seats on council.  The race should come down to Republican Liz Keating, Seth Walsh, and Ann Albi.  Audricia Brooks is a new candidate and no indication of any support, but with the lack of names on the ballot, she has a chance to win, depending on who votes and how they vote. There are multiple scenarios that have more than a minimal possibility to occur.  I've yet to game all of them out, but those variables are the only element of the City Council Race that are in question.  The ballot issues pending are a very different story.  I expect those races, especially the Railroad issue, to have more contention and questions on the outcome.

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)*‡
Anna Albi (D)‡
Audricia Brooks (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.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Cincinnati Democrats Win Super Majority on City Council in 2023 Before a Single Vote is Cast

Without a single vote cast, I can project that the Cincinnati Democratic Party will retain AT LEAST seven seats and a super majority on Cincinnati City Council. For those skeptical of my basic math skills, please note that the Democrats have endorsed nine candidates for City Council and there are two other candidates on the ballot. So, the Democratic candidates just need to vote for themselves at a minimum and they are going to get seven on council.

Not withstanding the angst from the local City Hall Report from the Enquirer in Thursdays "commentary", it is not the fault of the Democrats that only two other candidates are on the ballot. The Democrats are operating in the same system as every other person and party in the City. This may make the race boring as there are no fire breathers in the race to make for good copy. This means that all the more time to devote to policy and the City Issues on the ballot. Plus, there are two non-Democratic endorsed candidates with a chance to win.

The failure for the low number of candidates falls on the other political parties/groups in the City. They gave up. They could not muster up the organization to get behind candidates and make a run. Trying to push that blame on the success of Democrats is bias from the Enquirer, envy from the Republican Party, and from at least one former council candidate, Michelle Dillingham, who's own hubris led to not being part of the leadership of the part she has routinely attacked for not giving her power. 

Republicans have gone insane, so they can't field any type of slate other than one single candidate, who has gone OUT OF HER WAY to be as moderate as she can possibly be. Their party has become so Trumpist, they can't get any other palatable Republicans to run.  They will have to rely on moderates to back Liz Keating for her to have a chance to win.  With the expected surge in Democratic Turnout in November's election for the Abortion rights Issue, that may not be enough.

Charter seems to have fully retreated. There would see like there is a place for the Charter Committee to retain some minor influence on council, but their power base has faded out.  The group may be more suited to working on City specific ballot issues and avoid trying to get candidates elected.

Leftists seem to have blown their wad in the 2021 election year and failed so miserably that they were scared off of running out any other candidates. As is so often the case, leftists divide themselves, because the activists each want personal power more than anything else.  If a group of activists had worked together and picked a single candidate to get behind, they could actually make a showing.  However, if they are full on leftists, they also must realize that their views are not popular.  There is no silent hoard waiting to rise up for the revolutionary cause or even get them close to getting on council.

The last two years have been quiet, relaxed years.  The Enquirer, Republicans, and Leftists have tried to manufacture controversy and scandal to fulfil their self-interests.  They are to blame for not wanting elected officials to govern, they want them to play their games, each to own ends.  I myself like sane, quiet governance.  Ask questions, but don't assume a 5th column of conspirators are around every corner because that potion is what gets you more likes on social media. Getting attention is not politics, it is marketing. Policy is politics. Focus on that and less on drama. Drama is for the stage, not for City Hall.

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Issue 1 Turnout and the Abortion Issue on the Ballot Will Impact the Cincinnati Council Elections, But How?

Issue 1 went down in flames, but that was not the only development in local Politics here in Cincinnati.  City Council Elections are coming up and turnout is going to drive who get's elected, partially. Turnout was higher than expected within Cincinnati for the single issue special August election. Traditionally, you can't get anyone to vote in August. The August 8th election instead had higher turnout than the last council election in 2021. City voters would now be expected to come out to vote in numbers as least as high in November and that will impact the race for City Council.

At this point, there are only 11 candidates currently set to make the ballot with the August 24th deadline FAST approaching. Nine endorsed Democrats, one presumedly endorsed Republican, and one Independent candidate. There is only one other name amongst those who have taken out petitions that could compete and her act blue fundraising website states it is inactive and not accepting contributions. I am counting her out.

That means unless there is some hidden candidates or one comes out at the last minute in the next two weeks, we can be sure that the Democratic Party will retain a supermajority on council by doing nothing but voting for themselves.

That does leave two seats in play, but with the abortion issue coming this fall, not to mention multiple other issues (Weed legalization, Sale of the Cincinnati Railroad, and an odd Issue that could raise the income tax later) it looks like Democrats could win all nine seats on council. You will have to go to way back to find that type of single party rule.  I honestly don't like the concept, but I see it as the most likely thing to happen.  The Abortion, Weed, and RailRoad sale issues will suck all of the air out of election season and that means the expected larger number of voters, more than the 32% turnout rate the City had for the August 8th Special Election, will push the nine Dems ahead.

It is possible that through strategic voting by Conservatives and Moderates along with Progressive/Leftists campaigning for a long shot leftist candidate playing spoiler couldget Republican Liz Keating elected.

Eastside Moderates vote and Eastside Moderates like Liz Keating.  An organized target voting campaign could make the difference.  Most people do not vote for nine candidates, but most vote for at least six. If moderates, who usually pick more than six, instead vote for one or two candidates, that MIGHT shake things up enough to make one of the two unelected candidates fall from get the nineth spot.

I am not advocating for a short ticket strategy. I believe in voting for best candidates, not just the one or two who might agree with me the most.  I voted for seven last time. I would say I may be a the same number this time.  Maybe eight or nine, it depends.

If the Democratic voters don't turn out in similar numbers not only will the Abortion rights issue faulter, Liz Keating will likely get on council.

By the end of the month we should be set on the ballot and know if anyone else will even get on the ballot.  If there are more than 15 I would be very surprised. I can only find ten candidates who are fundraising so far. If you don't have your own money, then you are just not going to get elected without some fundraising.

I will update the candidate listing late this month as soon as the deadline passes to submit petitions. This is going to be a big general election, but I think the 2023 City Council Election will be by far the most uneventful and predictable one of the 20+ years I have been blogging about them.

Ohio Issue 1 Goes Down in Flames

Ohio Democracy dodged another bullet. Republicans were humiliated less than a hour after the polls closed when every major election specialist called the race for the No on Issue 1 Campaign.

Urban Counties and Cites, Cincinnati being one, were the key effort in winning.  Here are Hamilton County's unofficial results:

Good, for the City, turnout along with an overwhelming No vote on Issue 1 that was repeated in the 3C cities, led the charge. The suburban vote held up the brace with the Cites and pushed back the fascist hoard. Yeah, that's a dramatic description, but honestly, it is true.  This was an effort to create a fascist Ohio. One gerrymandered minority party in party that can rule without any challenge. Ohio is a Republic, where power is derived from the people, not a ruling class of Republican theocratic fascists. We held them off, for now.  This effort needs to be doubled in November if women are to be considered full citizens in Ohio. The vote will be much closer, but the vote in Cites like Cincinnati is crucial if the basic bodily autonomy for women is to be established again in Ohio.

Monday, August 07, 2023

Ohio Issue 1 Predictions: A Mix of Numbers and Gut

 I don't know if Issue 1 will pass tomorrow or not. I have no statewide data or secret polling data. The election hinges on two things: 1) Convincing people on the merits and 2) Voter turnout.

These topics are not equal. Convincing people on the merit is far less impactful than what voters turn out. What I think might happen includes the following.

  1. Issue 1 Fails 60+%: Democrats, Liberals, Progressives and even the Leftists come out in strong numbers and vote. This along with Moderates and some Conservatives (Libertarian leaning) and defeat Issue 1 with 60%+ of the vote.
  2. Issue 1 Passes 50.1-53%: Republicans manage to exceed the so far strong turn out in Cites using fear and insane scare tactics and manage to eek out narrow win with no more than the low 50s portion of the vote.
  3. Issue 1 Fails 51 to 55%: This could happen I think if election day voting under performs in comparison to the early vote, but the Republicans make up some ground due to the older voters still voting, but don't make up for ground.
Each of the three possibilities could easily vary on the numbers to a degree.  My only feel for actual numbers on this is with Hamilton County.  Early voting has been amazing for an August election and actually way better than an off-year local election. The City of Cincinnati has a 71% increase in early voting over 2021's City Election.  Turnout in the City should vastly exceed 2021's pitiful 24.93%.  It should be way over 30%.  The rest of Hamilton County I would expect to at least match that rate, but that is part of the question for this election.  Which areas will turn out and which way will they vote.  In HamCo suburbs, who they will vote for is more up for grabs than a rural county.

My gut tells me Issue 1 will fail, but the may be a rare instance of optimism I have based on the online churn I see and the early voting turnout so far. There was only 1 known poll on Issue 1 I am aware was made public and then a 2nd poll that was not on Issue 1 directly, but asked a question on a portion of the change proposed in Issue 1.  The actual poll indicates defeat and the other poll lists an even race, with a bunch of undecideds. With the lack of additional data, this is one that any prognosticator would find difficult in calling, but logically, all of the tea leaves so far indicate it will fail.  One never knows. I am voting tomorrow morning.  For the handful of readers out there, you should too, and should vote NO!