John Cranley

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.

Mark Heyne / WVXU News

As expected, Cincinnati mayoral candidates John Cranley and Roxanne Qualls found plenty to disagree about in their first debate Tuesday before a group of Cincinnati business leaders.

But they also hit upon a few areas of agreement.

Not surprisingly, they both told a Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber-sponsored luncheon at the Cincinnati Museum Center that they oppose raising the city’ 2.1 percent income tax as a way to deal with the city’s chronic budget shortfalls.


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.

City of Cincinnati

Tuesday’s primary election left just two candidates in the race to be Cincinnati’s next mayor. We discuss each candidate’s campaigns and their chance of success in the November general election with Xavier University Assistant Director for Philosophy, Politics, and the Public Honors, Dr. Gene Beaupre, and XU Associate Professor of Political Science and Sociology, Dr. Mack D. Mariani. We also take a look at how the race for city council is shaping up.

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.


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.

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:


John Cranley has a fundraising edge over Roxanne Qualls in the Cincinnati mayor’s race, according to campaign finance reports filed Wednesday.

Cranley, a former Cincinnati City Council member, had raised about $472,000 compared to $348,000 for Qualls, the city’s vice mayor.

According to the campaign finance reports, Cranley had about $264,000 in the bank as of June 30, the last day of the reporting period. Qualls had a cash-on-hand balance of about $192,000.

Mayoral candidate John Cranley, along with several city council members and candidates, are calling on the Port Authority to put an end to the city's parking lease deal based on a memo from the city's parking lease consultant that says the costs will be excessive.

The June 20 memo, from Walker Parking Consultants, was delivered to the city administration the day before City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr. signed an agreement with the Port Authority to lease out the city's metered and garage parking to private companies.

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.

So, it appears there will be no referendum on the city of Cincinnati’s parking lease agreement on the ballot this fall.

Unless, that is, in the unlikely event that the Ohio Supreme Court decides to take up the appeal of the decision made by the Ohio First District Court of Appeals this week saying the agreement is not subject to referendum because it was passed in March as an emergency ordinance.

But nobody on either side of this really expects this to happen.

Poor old Cincinnati Republicans.

They don’t have a mayoral candidate of their own.

There’s John Cranley, Democrat. Roxanne Qualls, Democrat. Jim Berns, Libertarian. And probably a couple more before the June 27 filing deadline for the September 10 mayoral primary.

But nary a Republican.