Charlie Luken

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In a battle of two of the best-known political names in the Hamilton County, Republican Ralph Winkler bested Democrat Charlie Luken in the race for the open probate court judgeship.

In the six other contested judicial races Tuesday, the Republicans won four while the Democrats won two – including one against an incumbent Republican.

With 553 of 555 precincts reporting, the unofficial vote count in the probate court judgeship was 53 percent for Winkler and 47 percent for Luken.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about what is like to be a high profile race this fall because of the names involved - the race for Hamilton County probate judge.

Something is likely to happen in this year’s November election in Hamilton County that is pretty much unheard of.

The most competitive race in the county might be the race for the open seat of Hamilton County Probate Court judge.

There are others that might generate some fairly fierce competition, but there is nothing quite like the probate court race.

Sean Patrick Feeney said this afternoon he has rejected attempts by Democratic Party leaders to get him to step aside in the Hamilton County commission race for former mayor Charlie Luken.

"I'm committed to this; and I am going to continue on,'' said Feeney, a technology consultant who lives in North College Hill.

Earlier in the day, Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman Tim Burke said he wanted Feeney, a first-time candidate, to step aside so the Democrats could run former Cincinnati mayor Charlie Luken against Republican incumbent Chris Monzel.

Tuesday’s primary was a low turnout affair. There was no county in southwest Ohio where the turnout reached 20 percent.

So a relative handful of Democratic and Republican voters got to choose the candidate for this this November’s election.

Many of the fall match-ups are mismatches. Most of the state legislative districts are so heavily Republican or Democratic that the primary winners will almost surely be the winners in the fall.

And, in county races, incumbents – both Democrat and Republican – have a distinct advantage.

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A showdown this fall between two of the most potent political names in Hamilton County is coming this fall when Democrat Charlie Luken takes on Repubican Ralph E. "Ted" Winkler for a probate court judgeship.

Both come from families with decades-long track records of winning elections in Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Luken - a former Cincinnati mayor and one-term congressman - filed petitions with the Hamilton County Board of Elections Tuesday to run for the probate court seat of Judge James Cissell, who can't run for re-election because of Ohio's judicial age limit law.