The endorsement group of the Cincinnati Democratic Committee (CDC) recommended a full slate of candidates – featuring four incumbents and five challengers – tonight that included some surprises. Among the non-incumbents recommended for endorsement is a former investigative reporter for WCPO-TV (Channel 9) and an Avondale neighborhood activist who once worked for then-Mayor Charlie Luken. Also, a candidate endorsed by Democrats in 2007 but who didn’t win a council seat was rebuffed by the party this time.
Non-incumbents recommended for endorsement were Tony Fischer, a Madisonville resident and U.S. Army veteran, who worked on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign; Nicolas Hollan, a Westwood resident who works for the American Red Cross; Laure Quinlivan, a Mount Lookout resident who headed WCPO’s I-Team until she was fired by the station; Bernadette Watson, an Avondale resident who is a Democratic activist and was a longtime aide to Luken; and Wendell Young, a North Avondale resident and a retired Cincinnati police sergeant, who finished 17th in the 2007 council race.
The four Democratic incumbents on City Council – Jeff Berding, Laketa Cole, Greg Harris and Cecil Thomas – were recommended for endorsement at an earlier meeting.
“We had a lot of good candidates,” said Dan Ticotsky, the CDC’s co-chair. “We had 10 people we spoke with. After some review, we chose what we thought would be a good ticket.”
Asked if he believes the challengers could unseat any of the Republican or Charterite incumbents on council, Ticotsky replied, “I’m hopeful. The tide is turning toward Democrats, so this is the time to do it.”
If approved by the CDC’s full membership later this month, as expected, the Democratic slate will be balanced along racial lines, keeping a pledge made earlier this year by Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman Tim Burke. The slate includes five whites and four African Americans.
The 26-member endorsement group decided on the slate based on a simple majority vote, and anyone receiving 15 votes or more was recommended.
Potential candidates who interviewed with the CDC’s endorsement group but who didn’t make the cut were Brian Garry, Martha Good, Steve Pavelish, Herb Smith and LaMarque Ward.
Garry received the party’s endorsement during the last council election two years ago but was rejected this time due to his past public criticisms of some Democratic candidates, sources said. He's a Clifton resident who’s employed as a music teacher and also owns a small construction company that specializes in environmentally friendly materials. He placed 18th among the 25 candidates running in the 2007 council election.
The entire CDC -- comprised of the party’s precinct executives, elected officials and others – will make a final decision on the slate at an April 16 meeting at the Letter Carriers Hall, 4100 Colerain Ave., Northside.