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November 5th, 2013 By German Lopez | News | Posted In: News, 2013 Election, Mayor, City Council

Streetcar Loses in Mayoral and City Council Elections

John Cranley wins mayoral race; three non-incumbents win City Council seats

john cranleyMayor John Cranley - Photo: Provided

Cincinnati’s streetcar project lost big on Tuesday as voters ushered in ex-Councilman John Cranley over Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls in the mayoral race and three non-incumbents who oppose the project to City Council, according to unofficial election results from the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

With all precincts reporting, Cranley handily defeated Qualls 58-42 percent. Cranley ran largely on his opposition to the $133 million streetcar, while Qualls promised to expand the project.

Voters also elected three non-incumbents to City Council: Democrat David Mann, Charterite Kevin Flynn and Republican Amy Murray. The three non-incumbents oppose the streetcar project, which means re-elected Democrat P.G. Sittenfeld, Republican Charlie Winburn and Independent Chris Smitherman are now part of a 6-3 majority on council that opposes the project.

Democrats Chris Seelbach, Yvette Simpson and Wendell Young — all supporters of the streetcar project — also won re-election. Incumbent Democrats Laure Quinlivan and Pam Thomas lost.

It’s unclear if the newly elected council and mayor will stop current construction on the streetcar once they take power in December, given concerns about contractual obligations and sunk costs that could make canceling the project costly in terms of dollars and Cincinnati’s business reputation.

But Cranley and the six anti-streetcar elects on City Council vested much of their campaigns on their opposition to the project, which they claim is too costly and the wrong priority for Cincinnati.

Supporters argue the project will produce a three-to-one return on investment — an estimate derived from a 2007 study from consulting firm HDR and a follow-up assessment to the HDR study from the University of Cincinnati.

City Council’s new make-up will be five Democrats, two Republicans, one Charterite and one Independent. That’s a shift from the current make-up of seven Democrats, one Republican and one Independent.

The new council slate will be the first to take up four-year terms following a city charter amendment voters approved in 2012.

Sittenfeld also landed a huge win and easily topped the City Council race with 10,000 more votes than Winburn, who, at 27,000 votes, got the second most ballots cast in his favor out of the nine council victors. Sittenfeld netted nearly 5,000 more votes than Cranley did in the mayoral race, although Cranley ran in a head-to-head race with Qualls while Sittenfeld was one of nine candidates voters could pick out of a pool of 21.

Citywide voter turnout ended up at roughly 28 percent.

Other election results:

Cincinnati voters rejected Issue 4, which would have privatized Cincinnati’s pension system for city employees, in a 78-22 percent vote.

In the Cincinnati Public Schools board election, Melanie Bates, Ericka Copeland-Dansby, Elisa Hoffman and Daniel Minera won the four seats up for grabs.

Hamilton County voters overwhelmingly approved property tax levies for the Cincinnati Zoo and Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County in 80-20 percent votes.

This story was updated with the final reported results.

 
 
11.06.2013 at 12:08 Reply

Can't really compare Sittenfeld's votes to Cranley's, since a vote for another council member didn't count against the former the way a vote for Qualls counted against the latter.

 

11.06.2013 at 12:33

I agree. I still think it's an interesting number, but I added a disclaimer in the final story.

 

11.06.2013 at 01:42 Reply

Why does a newspaper lead with street car is lost with election of a mayor? How much crap can we all give for free, then vote someone in who will do nothing but profit from the street car. Good call cincinnati!

 

11.06.2013 at 07:58 Reply

Too bad only 3% or so of the population voted. Not a terribly representative election in that way. Nobody should be "happy" or pleased with the results, which basically illustrate how alienated people are from the democratic process.

 

11.06.2013 at 09:58

Article says citywide voter turnout ended up at roughly 28 percent. If that's only 3% of the electorate, then maybe they should consider getting off their asses, registering, and voting.

 

 
 
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