Roxanne Qualls

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.

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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:

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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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