As Bernadette Watson decides whether to run for Cincinnati City Council
again in 2011, she's keeping busy by helping a former council member
get elected to state office.
Watson has been named as campaign manager for Alicia Reece, a Democrat who is seeking to keep the Ohio House 33rd District seat. Reece, an ex-Cincinnati vice mayor, was appointed to the seat in March to replace Tyrone Yates. Yates, who was facing term limits, was appointed to a municipal judgeship.
Reece and Watson will attend the opening of Reece's new campaign headquarters on Wednesday. The event will be held from 6-8 p.m. at Integrity Hall, 2081 Seymour Ave. in Bond Hill. Light refreshments will be served.
Integrity Hall is a conference center owned by the Reece family, and has served as Reece's headquarters for her previous campaigns.
Watson was considered the frontrunner to fill a recent vacancy on City Council created by Laketa Cole's departure to accept a job in Columbus with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Watson, a former Avondale Community Council president and aide to Mayor Charlie Luken, finished 11th in last year's council elections, her first bid at public office.
But Cole required that any potential successor keep her council staff employed for the remaining 19 months of her two-year term. Having never worked with the staffers before, Watson agreed to keep them for a few months on a trial basis but that wasn't sufficient for Cole. Instead, she appointed Wendell Young, who has run three times unsuccessfully for council and finished 14th in last year's elections.
Reece served on City Council from 1999-2006. She left council to mount an unsuccessful mayoral campaign. Before accepting the statehouse post, Reece served as assistant state tourism director.