It's been assumed for months, but it became official Thursday - Cincinnati will have a primary election for mayor on September 10.
Thursday was the filing deadline for mayoral candidates; and election officials said three have already qualified by submitting petitions with the signatures of 500 registered voters. They are Democrats Roxanne Qualls and John Cranley, along with Libertarian Jim Berns.
Two other candidates filed petitions with the board of elections - Stacy A. Smith, a first-time candidate; and Sandra Queen Noble, who has run for numerous offices and finished last in a field of 21 candidates for Cincinnati City Council two years ago.
Election officials said they should know by Monday whether Smith and Noble have enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.
But it only takes three candidates to make a primary necessary.
The top two vote finishers in the September 10 primary election will face each other in the November election. It is a non-partisan race, with no party designations on the ballot.
It will cost the city about $400,000 to conduct the primary election in city precincts - money that the city has already budgeted.