Roxanne Qualls

Jim Nolan / WVXU

Pool reporter.

Most people outside of journalism don't know what that term means; and could not possibly care less.

I know, because I have been the local pool reporter on a countless number of visits to Cincinnati or environs by presidents, first ladies, vice presidents and others who have Secret Service protection.

And I consider it the worst job in journalism.

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley announced Wednesday he is appointing former Mayor Roxanne Qualls to the Music Hall Revitalization Company board.  

Cranley said he approached Qualls about the idea and the two discussed the appointment during lunch Tuesday.  

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Workers at Cincinnati City Hall are getting ready for a new mayor and council to take office Sunday.

The Cincinnati Council session Tuesday was the last for Mayor Mark Mallory, City Manager Milton Dohoney and Council members Roxanne Qualls, Laure Quinlivan and Pam Thomas.  Much of the meeting was devoted to goodbyes for each.

Mallory could not seek re-election this year because of term limits.  He spoke about his time in office.

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.

Michael Keating

WVXU political reporter, Howard Wilkinson talks about tomorrow's election and the last 24 hours of campaigning in the Cincinnati Mayor's race.

Say what you want about Mark Mallory’s eight years as mayor of Cincinnati, which are rapidly coming to a close.

You can love him; you can loathe him.

What you can’t do is ignore him.

The man is a showman. Part stand-up comic. Your genial host. The man of a thousand quips.

And, if you find yourself on the wrong side of an issue he supports, a bulldog, who fights and claws and cajoles until he gets what he wants. A mini-LBJ. A chip off the ol’ block – his father, William Mallory Sr., a leader in the Ohio House for decades, was the same way.

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.

Provided / Commissioner Greg Hartmann's office.

Cincinnati's Union Terminal is in need of major repairs but Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann says the Museum Center is going to have to find a way to lower the price tag.

Hartmann says the current $180 million estimate is too high.

With less than a month left to persuade voters, Roxanne Qualls and John Cranley are each making their final push to become Cincinnati’s next mayor. We hear what each candidate has to say, on the streetcar, parking lease plan, balancing the city’s budget, and other issues that will determine the outcome of this election.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

Provided

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.

Sarah Ramsey

Former Cincinnati council member Cecil Thomas and his wife, Pam Thomas, who was appointed to his seat, may be listed as members of the host committee for mayoral candidate Roxanne Qualls, but they hasten to point out they are not endorsing her candidacy.

The Enquirer reported Monday that Pam and Cecil Thomas "are hosting a fundraiser for Qualls next month."

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.

City Manager Milton Dohoney signed the parking lease agreement Tuesday afternoon that will bring a $92 million up-front payment to city coffers, but council may still make some changes to the agreement.

Tuesday, two Cincinnati council members - Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls and Yvette Simpson - were circulating motions  asking the city administration to come up with a new plan for use of the $92 million in up-front money from the parking lease agreement.

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.

A good old-fashioned family fight is a frequent occurrence in the Democratic Party, but this year's race for Cincinnati mayor won't be one of them.

The party leadership, in a recent blast e-mail to the party faithful made it clear they won't be taking sides in the battle between two Democratic mayoral candidates - Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls and former council member John Cranley.

Caleb Faux, the Hamilton County Democratic Party's executive director, said neither candidate has asked the party for an endorsement.

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.

You had to know that this $110 million streetcar project was going to run straight down the middle of this year’s Cincinnati mayor’s race.

One candidate, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, has been an ardent supporter. The other major candidate, John Cranley, has been a vocal opponent.

At the moment, though, the streetcar appears to have jumped the tracks.

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