Most political junkies are busy focusing on the outcome of state and federal races in Ohio's May 4 primary. But the race with probably the most local impact hasn't been getting quite the same level of public interest or media attention: Who will face off as their party's chosen candidate for the vacant seat on the Hamilton County Commission. Vying for the Democratic nomination are former Cincinnati Vice Mayor Jim Tarbell, Cincinnati City Councilman Cecil Thomas and Whitewater Township Trustee Hubert Brown. The Republican battle pits Cincinnati City Council stalwarts Leslie Ghiz and Chris Monzel.
I’ve been covering City Councilwoman Leslie Ghiz as a reporter and columnist since her first council campaign back in 2005. On a personal level, she can be funny and intelligent and prone to uttering newsworthy quotes. Like every public official I've covered, sometimes I agree with her, sometimes I don't. During this campaign season, unfortunately, Ghiz presented herself as a much harder-edged, angry and occasionally rude candidate.
Ever since David Pepper finally confirmed last week what CityBeat first reported online in mid-March — that the prominent local Democrat will run for Ohio Auditor next year — speculation has run rampant about who will campaign for the seat he's vacating on the Hamilton County Commission.