Some upsets and surprises in Tuesday's low-turnout primary

May 6, 2014

Two incumbent Republican state representatives were defeated, a former Cincinnati city council member became the Democratic nominee for a state senate seat, and House Speaker John Boehner cruised to a win in Tuesday’s primary election in southwest Ohio.

The turnout in Tuesday’s election in the southwest Ohio counties was even lower than election officials expected – Hamilton County’s turnout was barely over 13 percent, 17.5 percent in Butler County, 15 percent in Warren County, and just under 13 percent in Clermont County.

All the numbers are unofficial; provisional and overseas ballots have yet to be counted. Here are some of the major races in the four southwest Ohio counties:

Hamilton County:

Former Cincinnati council member Cecil Thomas came out on top of a six candidate field for the Democratic nomination in the 9th Ohio Senate District. State Sen. Eric Kearney could not run again because of term limits.

Thomas edged out State Rep. Dale Mallory, who was term-limited out of his house seat, by four percentage points – 33 percent to 29 percent.

Former Cincinnati school board member Catherine Ingram came in third with 18 percent. Three other challengers – Paul Sohi, Angela Beamon and Joe Hye – brought up the rear.

Third-term State Rep. Peter Stautberg ended up losing the GOP primary to the man he replaced in the 2008 election – former state representative Tom Brinkman Jr.

Brinkman, who ran against Stautberg two years ago and lost in the 27th Ohio House District, took 54 percent of the vote to Stautberg’s 46 percent.

The 28th Ohio House District in northern Hamilton County had a GOP primary that went down to the wire. Party activist Jonathan Dever, who had tea party support, ended up with 46 percent of the vote to 44.9 percent for Blue Ash council member Rick Bryan. A scant 79 votes separated the two. It is a seat now held by Democrat Connie Pillich, who is running for Ohio treasurer.

Butler County:

House Speaker John Boehner easily won his GOP primary against two opponents, one of whom had the backing of a national tea party organization.

But, with nearly all the votes in the seven-county 8th Congressional District counted, Boehner had 71 percent of the vote – short of his usual 80-plus wins in previous primaries. J.D. Winteregg, a high school teacher from Troy who had the backing of the Tea Party Leadership Fund, took 23 percent of the vote. Eric Gurr of Liberty Township had six percent.

State representatives Wes Retherford of Hamilton and Margaret Conditt of Liberty Township easily won their GOP primaries, as did county commissioner Cindy Carpenter, who had three opponents.

Warren County:

Running for re-election while awaiting trial on 69 felony counts proved to be too much for State Rep. Peter Beck of Mason, who was demolished in a three-candidate primary.

The winner was Paul Zeltwanger, a developer who had support from Citizens for Community Values, with 51 percent of the vote. Party activist Mary Jo Kubicki had 40 percent, while Beck came in a distant third with only nine 9 percent of the vote. Beck stands trial in November on fraud and theft charges.

And, in heavily Republican Warren County, a Republican county commissioner was up-ended Tuesday. Commissioner Tom Ariss lost to Mason council member Tom Grossmann, who had 56 percent of the vote to Ariss’ 44 percent.

Clermont County:

Republican county commissioner David Uible easily defeated challenger David Painter with about 71 percent of the vote.

For complete results, there are links to the Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont county board of elections websites at