Politics

Political news

The two Democrats and two Republicans on the Hamilton County Board of Elections can’t go too long without a tussle; and they had been way too agreeable with each other lately.

That ended last Monday over the name of a candidate for Hamilton County commissioner. That name – actually a candidate’s middle name – set off a row between the Democrats and Republicans on the board.

Two-term Republican Greg Hartmann  said Tuesday morning he will officially resign from office on Monday, clearing the way for the Hamilton County Republican Party to name his successor.

That is likely to be Dennis Deters, a Colerain Township trustee. Deters and two other Republicans filed for the office by the Dec. 16  deadline for the March primary. Two have dropped out, leaving only Deters.

Howard Wilkinson

Suspended juvenile court judge Tracie Hunter won’t be on the March 15 primary ballot as a Democratic candidate for judge. 

The Hamilton County Board of Elections – two Democrats and two Republicans – voted unanimously Monday morning to bar Hunter from running for the juvenile court seat from which she was suspended. 

  WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about what kind of field of candidates Ohio voters may face when they go to the polls March 15 for the Ohio presidential primary. 

  Ohio’s primary election is March 15; and, in southwest Ohio, there’s every reason to believe that both Democrats and Republicans will have good reasons to go to the polls (or vote early).

Let’s deal with the obvious one first, the one every Republican and Democratic voter in the state can help decide – a little thing we like to call the “presidential primary.”

Provided

With less than two months left before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries, the Republican presidential candidates met Tuesday night for their last debate of 2015. And the Democrats will hold their last debate of the year this Saturday.

There was some drama and outright odd situations in Wednesday’s candidate filing deadline for the March 15 primary.

Candidates had until 4 p.m. to get their petitions in to county boards of elections in Ohio. There were some interesting situations in the four southwest Ohio counties – Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talks with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about how the Hamilton County Board of Elections plans to solve the problems with its e-polling system that plagued this year's general election. 

Elections can be messy things.

And, by elections, we don’t mean campaigns – those are worse than messy; they are legalized madness. What we mean is the actual organizing of an election,  the running of polling places and the process of counting the votes.

Local boards of elections, for the most part, do a superb job of pulling them off.

But we have been covering politics and elections for over 40 years; and can’t remember a single one where something didn’t go wrong on Election Day – either by human error or technology failure or both.

Peace Corps

Former congressman Steve Driehaus of Price Hill, who has spent the past four years with the Peace Corps in Swaziland, is moving to Morocco to head the agency's efforts there.

Driehaus made the announcement Friday on his Facebook page.

After four years of fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Swaziland in southern Africa, Driehaus says he, his wife and children will move to Rabat, the Moroccan capital on the north coast of the African continent.

 There are no less than 13 candidates for the Republican presidential nomination who would like to see a big hole poked in the balloon of front-runner Donald Trump and see him shrivel up and go away.

But there seems to be only one of them doing anything about it – the only one willing to bell the cat.

And that one is Ohio’s governor, John Kasich.

The recounts of the Nov. 3 election are over in southwestern Ohio counties; and two races – Arlington Heights mayor and a seat on Franklin city council – were decided by only one vote.

There were nine recounts altogether in Hamilton, Warren and Butler counties. Clermont County had no races close enough for a recount.

Warren County:

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Suspended juvenile court judge Tracie Hunter, convicted of a felony last year and facing a criminal trial in January, has taken out petitions to run as a Democrat for her now-vacant seat on the Hamilton County juvenile court bench.

She will not be an official candidate until she files the petitions by the Dec. 16 deadline and has her petitions certified by the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

  WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday about the possibility of a divisive Republican primary for Hamilton County commissioner, with two Cincinnati council members, Charlie Winburn and Christopher Smitherman, looking like they will get into the race. 

Politics is a funny business.

Two people can be pals and political allies, and then, after the next sunrise, became political rivals, eyeing each other warily and ready to slug it out before the voters if necessary.

It happened this past week.

The allies-turned-combatants: Two Cincinnati city council members, Republican Charlie Winburn and independent Christopher Smitherman, both of whom pulled petitions Tuesday to run in the March 15 GOP primary for Hamilton County Commissioner.

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