Evaluation: Who’s Nonetheless Standing In Cincinnati’s Mayoral Race


After Pureval, Cecil Thomas, David Mann.

These are your top candidates in Mayor’s Elementary School in Cincinnati on May 4th. Not necessarily in that order.

And only two of them can survive elementary school.

When the turnout is as low as it was in previous mayor’s primaries, there is no telling what might happen.

Nine potential candidates submitted petitions with the Hamilton County Board of Elections by February 18 to run in the primary, but the ranks are getting thinner.

Wendell Young, a member of the Cincinnati Council, has already been eliminated. He has not reached 500 valid Cincinnati voter signatures. And he failed by far – he had only 151 signatures according to the electoral board.

Mt. Auburn businessman Adam Koehler also failed to get the required number of valid signatures. The BOE says his petitions fell by 44 shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 823.

Sally Krisel, assistant director of the Hamilton County Board of Elections, said another potential candidate, Kelli Prather, was told Tuesday afternoon that she had 56 signatures fewer than the 500 she needed.

When the field is reduced a little, there is a clear demarcation line between the top tier candidates and the long shots.

The two best finalists in the primary election would face each other as mayors for a four-year term in November.

Cecil Thomas

Young, fumbling the ball the first game, was probably the best news Thomas could have had.

Thomas, a Senator, is a retired City Councilor and Cincinnati Police Officer. Young is temporary this year and is also a former Cincinnati cop.

Both are black; Both have sizable following in the Cincinnati African American community. Black people are a powerful force in this highly democratic city. Of course, not every black would have voted for a black candidate, but splitting the votes between two well-known African-American candidates would not have been good for either of the two candidates.

Thomas doesn’t have to worry about that anymore. The 68-year-old Democrat has been in the Ohio Senate and outside City Hall since his election in the Ohio Senate District in 2014. Given the city council’s low reputation, it’s probably a good place to be in Columbus for the past few years now, after a year that had three council members – including PG Sittenfeld who was the leading candidate for mayor charged with federal corruption charges.

Thomas has none of that in itself. But he has enough experience in the town hall to represent himself. He definitely knows the city.

Aftab pureval

Pureval is the interesting thing.

He never had anything to do with the town hall; He can run as a complete underdog, which is not bad this year.

Pureval is the Hamilton County Court Clerk and was the Democratic nominee for Ohio’s 1st Congressional District in 2018. He was a sensation bursting on stage as a political rock star, but star power dwindled as he and his campaign run made some bad decisions and fell into several bear traps set by the campaign of Republican incumbent Steve Chabot.

In the end, he was overwhelmed by the power of the Warren County’s Republican vote.

He’s a smart guy; he probably learned from the mistakes of his congressional campaign.

Perhaps Pureval would be wise to adopt the campaigning strategy of former Mayor Mark Mallory, who won the office in 2005 as City Hall’s outsider.

Mallory’s political career until then consisted of stays in the Ohio House and the Ohio Senate. He also had the benefit of having one of the most recognizable political names in Cincinnati, thanks to his father, the late William Mallory, a former Democratic majority leader in Ohio.

He ran for mayor at a time when there was great public dissatisfaction with the deadlock in the city council. “Chaos” has been described by most – including Mallory.

Mallory ran like a new set of eyes and ears, someone who could clean up the mess. He finished second in the 2005 primary, ahead of his Democratic compatriot David Pepper, but in the fall head-to-head competition, Mallory was elected mayor over Pepper. And he stayed there for two four-year terms.

It worked once; it could work again.

David Mann

The only remaining council member in the race is Democrat David Mann. He is 81 years old. We should all have his energy and passion if we are lucky enough to reach this age.

In the scandals that rocked City Hall last year, man has stayed way above the fight. and may appear as The Grown Up In The Room and as a candidate with decades of experience, a keen understanding and respect for the council manager’s form of government, and someone who knows how clean, efficient city government should function.

Pureval and Thomas are considered the early front runners, but it’s entirely possible Mann could finish both.

The outsider

There is a second tier of candidates that is much less well known than the top three. But everyone takes their campaigns very seriously and will work their asses off to break through.

They are:

  • Herman NajoliThe native Kenyan finished third in a race with three candidates for the Hamilton County Commissioner in November. He is an Associate Professor at Indiana Wesleyan University,
  • Gavi Begtrup, a physicist and entrepreneur who is running for election for the first time.
  • Raffel Prophet, a retired Cincinnati Fire Department chief and a retired Lt. Col. on U.S. Army reservations.

An election with a low turnout is expected – although it may be a little inflated due to absent absentee voting.

And in an election with a low turnout, anything is possible.

Hold on to your seats, people.

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