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Cincinnati: 2021 Mayoral Election

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Smitherman on his mayoral run: 'I don’t play with the citizens of Cincinnati'

 

Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman made his run for Cincinnati mayor official on Tuesday, filing paperwork with the Hamilton County Board of Elections and taking a few jabs at a potential opponent.

 

The filing changed Smitherman’s campaign committee from one aimed at getting him elected to the City Council to one getting him elected as mayor. It also designates his wife, Pamela, who is suffering from cancer, as treasurer. Smitherman is barred by term limits from seeking another City Council term after serving since 2011.

 

The filing guarantees a long campaign for an election that is more than 38 months away, with Smitherman, an independent, and Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, a Democrat, the two most-talked-about likely candidates. Incumbent Mayor John Cranley, the Democrat who appointed Smitherman to be vice mayor, is barred by term limits from running for a third term.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2018/08/21/smitherman-on-his-mayoral-run-i-don-t-play-with.html


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Someone might want to get to work on digging through archives of his cable show and radio appearances. I'm guessing there are a few interesting sound clips.

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As @taestell reported in the Christopher Smitherman topic, it turns out he won't be running for mayor in 2021.

 

Quote

Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman has dropped out of the 2021 race for Cincinnati mayor, citing the need to spend time with his family a year after the death of his wife, Pamela.

 

“As a widowed father of five, I have a higher calling at this time,” Smitherman said in a news release. “I am determined to give my children as much love and attention as I can. Running for mayor would make that impossible.”

 

I'm not aware of any other candidates outside of PG Sittenfeld (and I'm sure Jim Berns will run as a Libertarian again). Has anyone else announced their candidacy? Is this a sign that the Republican Party is going to put forward a nominee?

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I think Greg Landsman will also run.

 

I was 99% sure that we were going to have a general election with PG vs. Smitherman, but now it's fairly up in the air. The Republicans could decide to run a different candidate (Smitherman was technically an independent but we all know that he was the unofficial Republican candidate) and I also wouldn't be surprised if some other Democrats that aren't currently on City Council decided to enter the race. Because of our non-partisan primary system, there is really no way of telling which candidates will end up in the top two slots and make it to the general election. We could end up with a moderate Dem vs. a Republican, or a progressive Dem vs. a moderate Dem. It's very strange.

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Maybe we see the return of Charlie Winburn?

Other possible candidates are Eric Kearney, Dale Mallory, and Cecil Thomas, maybe?

I don't really see Amy Murray running, but anything's possible.

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On ‎1‎/‎15‎/‎2020 at 5:35 PM, ryanlammi said:

Maybe we see the return of Charlie Winburn?
 

 

It's possible because Smitherman just made a point of lobbing an insult at Winburn last week regarding the proposed sale of the Southern Railroad back in 2009 or 2010.  

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45 minutes ago, taestell said:

Amy Murray is definitely out now that she has a job in the Deep State.

There will likely be token competition for mayor but it is going to come from PG's left flank. If you think about it, it only makes sense. THe GOP is only strong enough to muster 1-2 seats on council and typically will be towards the lower end of the elected members in votes. PG is a liberal but is a big proponent of business and development. He is a Martin O'Malley type Democrat who believes cutting edge technology and investment utilized by government can solve all problems and manage things efficiently, etc. He has a social justice bent, but he embraces the power brokers in town. A GOP candidate, while maybe more appealing to the power brokers, is DOA campaign (part of the reason why Smitherman is not running). Business would take the centrist Democrat who could win over a GOP candidate who aligns with their interest who will certainly lose. Therefore, you will not get someone to the right of PG because he takes that lane up. The only avenue is someone who can out progressive PG on the left. While they are typically not there now, it would not surprise me to see Rob Richardson try again or maybe even Roxanne Qualls (doubt it but you never know).

 

Alecia Reese would be a compelling choice should she lose the Commissioner Primary but she tends to be in PG's lane without as much money, but connection to the african american leaders. She is probably a little more to the right of PG on he whole, but she could also make things interesting. IMO

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On 1/15/2020 at 5:35 PM, ryanlammi said:

Maybe we see the return of Charlie Winburn?

Other possible candidates are Eric Kearney, Dale Mallory, and Cecil Thomas, maybe?

I don't really see Amy Murray running, but anything's possible.

Cant See Kearney, he is too centrist, plus with his wife on council now, she is going to have the electoral funds going her way.

Mallory could be interesting (but he may be comfortable as a judge) it is a less stressful gig.

 

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4 hours ago, GCrites80s said:

Some articles speculated the Mark Mallory had been mentioned as a top name.

Can he run again? I know he was term limited 8 years ago, but does that only require him to sit out a cycle and he can re-run or can he not run again for mayor?

 

What is he doing now?

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36 minutes ago, Brutus_buckeye said:

Can he run again? I know he was term limited 8 years ago, but does that only require him to sit out a cycle and he can re-run or can he not run again for mayor?

 

What is he doing now?

Do you really want to know............?

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2018/02/02/how-serious-fc-cincinnati-west-end-club-hired-mark-mallory-do-outreach/300304002/

 

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2 hours ago, Brutus_buckeye said:

Can he run again? I know he was term limited 8 years ago, but does that only require him to sit out a cycle and he can re-run or can he not run again for mayor?

 

 

 

Apparently he can using the same rule Charlie Luken did to serve two 8-year terms. https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2020/01/15/smitherman-will-not-run-for-mayor.html

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Countervailing against the ageism (which is pretty crass TBH) I see Mann out at events and around in OTR more than I see PG anywhere. And Mann has his name on more so-called "urbanist" proposals than anyone else at city hall, including raising density limits in the West End for certain projects and making it easier for water mains to be replaced under the streetcar tracks. He's also the only one who mentions making the streetcar fare-free, he was behind marijuana decriminalization and he's working on pedestrian safety downtown.

Edited by Pdrome513

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2 hours ago, Pdrome513 said:

Countervailing against the ageism (which is pretty crass TBH)

 

I don't think it's crass to point out that if Mann wins, he will indeed be in his 80s when he takes office. There is a lot of frustration across the country with the fact that our two options for president this year are white men in their 70s. A lot of people are kinda sick of old white men right now and would like some younger and/or more diverse representation.

 

But aside from my previous comment, I have not already made up my mind. To me, it seems like Sittenfeld and Mann have taken very similar positions on most issues. I will wait and see if either of them has proposals that are truly exciting. If one of them comes forward with a serious plan to implement Vision Zero, start following the bike plan, improve the streetcar, push BRT forward, eliminate parking minimums in more parts of the city, insert other urbanist wish list items here, they will be the candidate that gets my vote.

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Mann isn't a schemer like Cranley or Smitherman and he doesn't make clumsy mistakes.  He is neither for or against anything, which explains his long-term success in politics.  He's been around since the 1970s and he has championed...what, exactly? 

 

What's hilarious about the history of Ohio District 1 is that it was held by Tom Luken for many years...when he retired his son Charlie managed to beat out Ken Blackwell in what was the nastiest local congressional race of all-time.  Under mysterious circumstances, Charlie Luken gave up his seat after just one 2-year term.  David Mann managed to win the seat, but then he was defeated by Steve Chabot thanks to the Newt Gingrich/Rush Limbaugh "revolution".  Chabot was only sent back to Cheviot when Obama led a D groundswell in 2008, but we all know that Chabot Strikes Back in 2010 and he's held the seat ever since. 

 

Dan Hurley's circa-1982 Cincinnati: The Queen City made the point to mention that Mann was the first Appalachian to win Cincinnati's mayoral seat, although I challenge anyone to point to anything specific he did for the Appalachian "community". 

 

Ken Blackwell was the Ur-Black Republican.  He played the old Cincinnati game of coming up as a Charterite and then selling himself to the highest bidder.  That same game was played by Charlie Windburn, Chris Smitherman, and most recently Jeff Pastor.  The game never changes but nobody in our flaccid local media ever seems to figure it out. 

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The first 2 things people think of when it comes to Mann is how old he is and what exactly his platform would be versus PG. 

 

Interesting little tidbit from the WVXU article on him entering the race: 

 

Mann told Wilkinson he is not at all happy with the recent tenor on City Council or the antics of the "Gang of Five." Still, he refused to say anything negative about Sittenfeld or his council colleagues.

 

"If I do this, I'd talk about my vision for what this city can be,'' Mann said. "Some days I think the 'good old days' weren't so bad, when we had people here like Bobbie Sterne and Gene Ruehlmann. Serious people." 

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For mayor, we have a non-partisan primary, then a one on one election in November 2021, right?  So the question is, will there be someone to the right of Sittenfeld and Mann who will run in the primary

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46 minutes ago, Jimmy Skinner said:

For mayor, we have a non-partisan primary, then a one on one election in November 2021, right?  So the question is, will there be someone to the right of Sittenfeld and Mann who will run in the primary

Most likely no. THe GOP is not going to run anyone. Sittenfeld has built the war chest of the moneyed, many GOP donors in the city because he speaks as being very pro-development. The one thing about PG is he is able to be easily influenced by donors and there are a couple of times where he got over his skis and had to walk things back some because of it. There is no room for someone right of PG because he has the fundraising. The only space is an upstart on the left or an African American who could capture the African American community and has name recognition to turn out the vote. If Alecia Reese loses the commissioner election, I would not be surprised to see her jump into the mayor's primary. She would likely be more to the right of PG (and she is also good with the business community), but she would actually pose a formidable challenge. It would be similar to the Pepper/Mallory campaign from 2007 

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I have no idea who I would vote for if I had to vote today. PG has always taken the safe road on his votes. He almost never puts his neck on the line, and only votes for something controversial when he isn't the deciding vote, or he has a ton of pressure to do so. He likes to talk about vague things the city has done.

 

On the other hand, Mann has a few black marks as well as some positive moments where he stood out. After being named Vice Mayor in 2013, he voted to restart the streetcar construction (after voting to pause it, and giving Cranley veto power over any plan to un-pause it, which was dumb). He also caved to that company along Central Parkway and made a significantly worse protected bike lane to allow someone to maintain a couple of parking spaces in front of his business.

 

Neither seems like a big urbanist. Which is really disappointing. 

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11 minutes ago, ryanlammi said:

He also caved to that company along Central Parkway and made a significantly worse protected bike lane to allow someone to maintain a couple of parking spaces in front of his business.

 

Ah yes, I forgot about Mann's Bend, which added about $100k to the cost of the Central Parkway bike lane and made it worse, so that one property owner wouldn't lose a few parking spaces directly in front of their building.

 

11 minutes ago, ryanlammi said:

Neither seems like a big urbanist. Which is really disappointing. 

 

From what friends have told me based on their direct experience working with him, Sittenfeld is actually pretty good behind the scenes on urbanist/transit issues. The problem is that, as you mentioned, he has not been very willing to stick out his neck for these issues in public.

 

However, people from neighborhoods across the city are starting to catch on to ideas like "walkability" and "Vision Zero" that were previously only discussed by urbanists living in the center city. So maybe one or both candidates will see that these issues are somewhat mainstream now and publicly support them.

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