Cincinnati mayoral candidates will endeavor to submit paperwork as quickly because the deadline expires
CINCINNATI – Hopeful contestants have scored their i’s and crossed their t’s Wednesday to be on the ballot before the closing date for qualifying for Thursday’s race as a potential successor to Mayor John Cranley.
On Wednesday afternoon, six candidates appeared to have the required 500 valid signatures from registered city voters to be on the ballot for the May 4th impartial primary. The two best voters of this competition will take part in the general election in November:
- Gavi Begtrup (Mount Lookout)
- David Mann (Clifton)
- Herman J. Najoli (West Price Hill)
- Raffel Prophett (Avondale)
- Aftab Pureval (Clifton)
- Cecil Thomas (Avondale)
Cranley, who is unable to run for office due to term restrictions, was first elected mayor in 2013 and re-elected in 2017.
The composition of the group has been somewhat unusual so far, said political scientist and professor David Niven of the University of Cincinnati.
“This race includes not only heavy hitters but also heavy hitters who are matched,” Niven told WCPO, referring specifically to Mann, Pureval and Thomas, who are all well-known Democrats in Hamilton County politics at the moment or more recently in office in various offices at city, county or state level.
This means that their respective support bases typically overlap.
“This will be a very difficult challenge when candidates come from the same wing of the party,” said Niven. “It’s hard to go in groups and say,” Support me; support me “because these groups will think” we have other friends in this race. ” It is very difficult.”
Another prominent Democrat who had pointed out a run – councilor Chris Seelbach – said Wednesday he would not pursue the ticket.
Niven said he believes the strong performance of established Democrats was a direct result of the Democratic City Council and former frontrunner in indicting Mayor PG Sittenfeld late last year on public federal corruption charges. His case is still ongoing, which is why he is temporarily suspended by the council. Sittenfeld’s lawyers have filed a motion to dismiss the case. That decision is still pending.
Sittenfeld announced on Thursday morning that he would not visit the office in his trial.
“The race was almost over before the start and had to be restarted in the last few weeks,” said Niven.
The challenge now is to get the voters’ attention.
“This is just a tough race, and to get people to pay attention … It’s not that people reject these candidates; it’s that they don’t hear enough about them to give them good thoughts to do, “said Niven.
At least one other name-recognizing Democrat, Kelli Prather, told the WCPO on Wednesday afternoon that she intended to hand in her signatures to the electoral board on Thursday. Previously, Prather had made an unsuccessful bid for the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners in 2020 and for the U.S. Senate in 2016.
Councilor Wendell Young said in December he was considering running a mayoral run and even picked up papers to collect signatures. WCPO reached Young Wednesday afternoon but didn’t get an immediate response.
Potential candidates have until Thursday, February 18, 4:00 p.m. to hand in their signed petitions.