Four years ago, politicos on both sides were stunned when the formerly rock-solid Hamilton County was won by Barack Obama by a margin of 29,683 votes, taking 54 percent of the county to 46 percent for GOP nominee John McCain.
This year, the GOP and the Romney-Ryan campaign rolled the dice on winning back Hamilton County, one of the handful of linchpin counties that can make or break a presidential campaign in Ohio.
The two members of the Hamilton County board of commissioners who are up for re-election this year – Republican Greg Hartmann and Democrat Todd Portune – will have no major party opponents in the Nov. 6 election.
Leaders of both major political parties said giving the commissioners a free ride was not part of a deal. Four years ago, both Portune and Hartmann faced weak opponents who had little or no party backing.
The two political parties tried and failed to come up with county commission candidates by Monday’s 4 p.m. deadline.