Wednesday, August 02, 2000

Gattermeyer to continue Holcomb's legacy

Official candidate ends the '2 Percent Club'

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FAIRFIELD TWP. — After Butler County Democrats chose Dan Gattermeyer on Tuesday to carry their banner in this year's prosecutor's race, he vowed to continue John F. Holcomb's success in fighting crime but announced he has ended the late prosecutor's controversial 2 Percent Club.

Dan Gattermeyer
        In a passionate show of unity, the Butler County Democratic Central Committee unanimously voted at a special meeting at the D. Russel Lee Career Center in Fairfield Township for Mr. Gattermeyer to serve the remaining five months of Mr. Holcomb's term and to replace him in the prosecutor's campaign.

        Mr. Gattermeyer has been an assistant prosecutor for 15 years and had been running Mr. Holcomb's campaign for re-election. Mr. Holcomb, who served as county prosecutor for 27 years, died July 22 of a heart attack.

        “I know we can win in November,” said Mr. Gattermeyer, who has been acting prosecutor since July 24.

        Mr. Holcomb, who had been the only Democratic countywide office-holder, had been locked in a bitter race against Robin Piper, a Republican who had worked for Mr. Holcomb for 14 years.

        Mr. Gattermeyer announced that he has discontinued the practice of collecting voluntary contributions in the prosecutor's office for the prosecutor's campaign fund.

        Mr. Holcomb was criticized for the so-called 2 Percent Club after the Enquirer revealed last year that many of his employees donated about 2 percent of their salaries to his campaign fund. Some employees said the contributions were voluntary, but some former employees said they felt pressured into donating.

        “It's something John and I had a difference of opinion on,” Mr. Gattermeyer said. “There was nothing wrong with it. It was just something I didn't want to do.”

        He said all of Mr. Holcomb's campaign fund will be used for his campaign. There is now about $120,000 in the fund, he said.

        Mr. Gattermeyer, 42, has been one of the top assistant prosecu tors and was a unanimous choice of the prosecutor's staff to succeed Mr. Holcomb.

        Mr. Gattermeyer was born and raised in Lindenwald, a middle-class neighborhood of Hamilton. He and his wife, Pamela, have four children and live in Hamilton.

        Mr. Holcomb's son, John M. Holcomb, gave an emotional speech supporting Mr. Gattermeyer and denouncing Mr. Piper.

        “I want to make it very clear that it was my father's carefully considered wish that Dan be the person to succeed him,” he said.


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