As Laketa Cole prepares to leave Cincinnati City Council for a state government job, sources say she’s settled on Wendell Young as her replacement.
Multiple sources at City Hall and within the Democratic Party are talking about Young’s apparent selection and expressing surprise because he has ran unsuccessfully in three City Council elections and finished in 14th place in 2009’s balloting for the nine council seats, behind fellow Democrats Greg Harris (10th) and Bernadette Watson (11th).
Party insiders are particularly puzzled by the choice because Young never improved much on his election results — in terms of vote totals and overall placement — in his races in 2005, 2007 and 2009, never finishing above 14th place.
Also, Young wasn’t an active campaigner, they added. The factors make them question whether he can hold onto the seat during the 2011 council elections.
By comparison, Cole is skipping the 10th-highest vote getter (Harris), who was a loyal ally while on council and had the best record on black issues according to the local NAACP’s scorecard, as well as the 11th-place finisher (Watson), who has deep political and neighborhood connections in the city and strong support from the Luken family.
Cole is expected to announce her choice this week, possibly later today, according to sources.
Young, 65, is a lifelong Cincinnati resident and a former police officer who retired in 1992 with the rank of sergeant. He also is a former president of the Sentinel Police Association and an ex-assistant director of the city’s Personnel/Equal Employment Opportunity Office. He lives in North Avondale with his wife and two of their children.
Cole hasn’t responded to several requests for comment.