Cincinnati mayor's race

Some final thought on the 2013 election, before we move on to the 2014 election (which, of course, is already well underway).

Apathy wins by landslide:  On Dec. 1, John Cranley will be sworn in as Cincinnati’s 69th mayor, along with nine city council members – three of whom are newly-elected.

  Cincinnati voters had their say on Tuesday, we get a rundown on the winners and losers in yesterday’s races from Howard Wilkinson and Jay Hanselman.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Clearly, the majority of Cincinnati voters who went to the polls Tuesday were determined to shake up Cincinnati City Hall, electing John Cranley as their new mayor and changing the face of the nine-member city council.

Cranley, a 39-year-old Hyde Park resident who grew up in Price Hill and a former council member, easily defeated a fellow Democrat who has been one of the top vote-getters in the Queen City over the past three decades, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls.

In the unofficial vote count, Cranley took 58 percent to Qualls’ 42 percent.

Next Tuesday Cincinnati voters decide who’s going to lead the city for the next four years, as they elect a new mayor and city council. Assistant Director for Philosophy, Politics, and the Public Honors Program at Xavier University, Dr. Gene Beaupre, and Cincinnati Enquirer Assistant Editor, Government and Public Affairs, Carl Weiser, join Howard Wilkinson and Jay Hanselman to look at the races, and the issues on the ballot November 5.

Michael Keating

This week WVXU Political Reporter Howard Wilkinson talks about the money being spent in the Cincinnati Mayor and Council races.

It’s official now.

The 2013 Cincinnati mayoral race between Democrats Roxanne Qualls and John Cranley will be the most expensive since the city began direct election of the mayor in 2001.

That’s not much history to go on, but a record is a record.

Campaign finance reports filed this week showed that Cranley, a former city council member, had raised $909,775 through the Oct. 16 cut-off date, while Qualls had raised $640,000.

Candidates for public office collect endorsements from groups and influential individuals the way that sports memorabilia enthusiasts collect autographed rookie baseball cards of Hall of Famers.

They hoard them.

And then they use them, for whatever they are worth, to get elected.

Cincinnati’s mayoral candidates, Roxanne Qualls and John Cranley have put together quite a collection.

Yes, Cincinnati has a costly and contentious mayor’s race going on.

Yes, there is a mob of 21 candidates scrambling to win one of nine seats on city council. And, yes, there are plenty of controversial issues, from the streetcar to the parking lease to the city’s woeful pension system, for the candidates to argue about.

And yet, the truth is, there are clear indications that Nov. 5 will see the lowest turnout election in Cincinnati in many a decade. Maybe ever.

And what is the particular tea leaf we can read that would lead us to this conclusion?

Jay Hanselman

Roxanne Qualls says if she's elected Cincinnati mayor in the November election, she'll select Council Member Wendell Young to be her Vice Mayor.

Qualls made the announcement Monday during a press conference on the sidewalk outside the Hamilton County Board of Elections

“He is someone who has shown, since he’s been on City Council, tremendous judgment, maturity, and leadership as well as a clear ability to work with the other members of Council to forge coalitions and also to be very collaborative,” Qualls said.

John Cranley and Roxanne Qualls, the two candidates for Cincinnati mayor, will meet in a community forum at noon next Thursday at Christ Church Cathedral downtown.

Organizers of the Community Issues Forum, a long-standing noontime tradition at Christ Church Cathedral, are not calling the joint appearance of the two Democrats a debate.

At the forum, each candidate will be given an allotted period of time to lay out his or her vision for the city and plans if he or she is elected mayor on Nov. 5. Then, the candidates will take questions from the audience.

Provided

The first of two debates between Cincinnati mayoral candidates John Cranley and Roxanne Qualls takes place early this afternoon at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal.

After an 11:30 a.m. luncheon, Qualls and Cranley will debate for an hour, with the focus on "issues of importance to the business community,'' according to Lance Barry, spokesman for the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, which is sponsoring the event.

The audience of about 100 will be primarily made up of Cincinnati business leaders.

There are 201,843 registered voters in the city of Cincinnati.

Tuesday, in a primary election for mayor, 11,455 of them cast ballots.

That works out to 5.68 percent.

We are in our 40th year of covering elections; and have yet to see a candidate race where the turnout was so abysmally low.

Even on September 11, 2001, the day of the first ever Cincinnati mayoral primary and a day when the entire nation was in shock, grief and rage over the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, about 15 percent of the electorate turned out.

Provided

Tuesday's mayoral primary election, with its record low turnout of 5.68 percent, has convinced former mayor and congressman David Mann that Cincinnati needs a new way of electing its mayor.

Mann, who is now running for city council with Democratic and Charter Committee endorsements, said that if he is elected, he will introduce a charter amendment that will replace the direct election of the mayor system that has been in place since 2001.

Michael Keating

John Cranley and Roxanne Qualls will be the candidates for Cincinnati Mayor in November, but the percentages in  yesterday's election surprised some.  WVXU political reporter Howard Wilkinson shares his thoughts.

Provided

The result of Tuesday’s Cincinnati mayoral primary was a foregone conclusion – former city council member John Cranley will face Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls in the November election.

But the double-digit lead that Cranley had over Qualls is not good news for Qualls’ ambition to replace Mayor Mark Mallory as Cincinnati’s mayor.

With all of Cincinnati’s 175 precincts reporting late Tuesday night, Cranley had 55.8 percent of the vote to 37.15 percent for Qualls in the unofficial vote count.

The polls are open in Cincinnati, as city residents take their first step toward choosing a new mayor in today's primary election election.

Polling places opened at 6:30 a.m. and the voting ends at 7:30 p.m.

Board of elections officials are expecting a very low turnout. Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman Tim Burke, the chairman of the elections board, said this morning he believes turnout could be as low as 10 percent.

Michael Keating

This week Howard Wilkinson talks about tomorrow's Cincinnati Mayoral primary and what we can expect between now and November.

Cincinnati voters head to the polls tomorrow to cast ballots in the city's mayoral primary.  Hamilton County Board of Elections Deputy Director Sally Krisel says it's hard to judge how busy the polls will be since there have only been two mayoral primaries in the past.  The election in 2001 was on September 11th, the day of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. 

Krisel says turnout that day was especially low, in 2005-- 21 percent of the voters came out to vote and there was no primary in 2009. 

So the Hamilton County Democratic Party has two candidates for mayor – John Cranley and Roxanne Qualls – and party leaders have vowed not to play favorites.

So why, in the campaign finance reports filed this week, did Qualls get $9,000 from the party and Cranley got $2,500?

Because, if you are a candidate for mayor or Cincinnati city council, the Democratic Party has a deal for you!

Here’s how it works:

Libertarian Jim Berns, who sent a hand-written letter to the Hamilton County Board of Elections yesterday, saying he was withdrawing from the Cincinnati mayor's race, told the board today that he wants to be a candidate again. 

But, board officials say, there is a legal question over whether Berns could withdraw from the race in the first place.

Tim Burke, the chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Elections, told WVXU that the board's lawyer told the board there is no provision in the Cincinnati city charter allowing candidates to withdraw.

In a hand-written letter, Libertarian Jim Berns has told the Hamilton County Board of Elections he is withdrawing from the Cincinnati mayor’s race, saying he does not want “my participation in the illicit mayoral primary” that costs the taxpayers $400,000

But there are still three other candidates on the ballot - Roxanne Qualls, John Cranley, and Queen Noble. That means the September 10 primary will go forward.

The two candidates who will face each other this fall for the job of Cincinnati mayor will meet in two debates – one on Sept. 17 and another televised debate on Oct. 15 -    sponsored by the Cincinnati USA Chamber of Commerce.


The participants in the debate will be the two top vote-getters in the Sept. 10 mayoral primary. There are four candidates on the primary ballots – Democrats Roxanne Qualls and John Cranley, Libertarian Jim Berns and independent Sandra Queen Noble.

photo by Michael Keating

This week Howard Wilkinson talks about why there will be a primary election for Cincinnati Mayor and some regional politicians who's names are being mentioned for president in 2016.

There will be a primary election for Cincinnati mayor on September 10.  How much it will tell us about who will ultimately become the new mayor of the city on December 1 is an open question.


We do know this – it will be one of the two top vote-getters in the primary, who will face each other in the November election.

Five candidates filed petitions to run for Cincinnati mayor last week, but only four had enough valid signatures to make the Sept. 10 primary ballot, according to the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

Stacy Smith, a first-time candidate, submitted petitions with 794 signatures, but only 367 of them were valid signatures of Cincinnati voters.

Candidates must have 500 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

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.

This week Howard Wilkinson talks about the latest on Cincinnati's parking lease deal and what role the controversial subject will play in the upcoming mayor's race.

Over the past few weeks, the fight in the Cincinnati mayor’s race has been about the streetcar.

Roxanne Qualls for it; John Cranley against it.

This week, it is about parking meters and whether they should be leased to a private company, an issue that is going to be decided by Cincinnati City Council in the next few weeks.

Once again, Qualls for it; Cranley against it.

Don’t worry, the streetcar debate will come back. That debate is likely to go on all year, right up to election day.