Wednesday, December 20, 2000

P&G name enters politics

Pepper's son seeks seat on council

By Howard Wilkinson
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        David Pepper wants to take a name well-known in Cincinnati business and make it a political name with a run for Cincinnati City Council next year.

        The 29-year-old lawyer, son of Procter & Gamble chairman John Pepper, has been quietly making the rounds of Democratic leaders in order to win a party endorsement in next year's council election, when there will be three open seats.

        “I feel like I have something to offer,” the Mount Adams resident said.

        While he is proud of his family name and civic involvement of his father and mother, Frances, he said he wants to be elected on more than name recognition.

        “If this city is going to compete and grow, this council is going to have to find ways of working together,” Mr. Pepper said. “I think I can help.”

        Mr. Pepper grew up in Wyoming and is a lawyer in the firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey after clerking for Judge Nathaniel Jones in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

        Before becoming a lawyer, Mr. Pepper spent several years as assistant director of an international commission set up to stimulate private-sector business in St. Petersburg, Russia, after the fall of the Soviet Union.

        Before that, he had an internship as a research assistant to Zbignew Brzezinski, who was national security adviser in the Carter administration.

        “He has a pretty impressive resume,” said Tim Burke, Hamilton County Democratic Party co-chairman.

        Republicans Phil Heimlich and Charles Winburn cannot run in 2001 because of term limits. There will be an additional open seat because, under the new election system, the mayor will no longer be a member of council.

        Among those said to be interested are Mount Adams businessman David Crowley, Ohio Board of Education member Melanie Bates, Jane Anderson, an unsuccessful council candidate in 1999; former county recorder Eve Bolton, and Scott Seidewitz, who also ran and lost in 1999.

        Mr. Burke said party leaders have yet to set up a process for screening and endorsing candidates, but said it is likely to start shortly after the first of the year.

        The party is likely to field nine candidates for council. With four incumbents - Minette Cooper, Paul Booth, Alicia Reece and the newly appointed John Cranley - that leaves slots for five non-incumbents.

        Ms. Reece, Ms. Cooper and Mr. Booth are African-Americans. Mr. Burke said the party is likely to run at least one more African-American candidate.

        Mr. Pepper said he does not know if he will run without a party endorsement.

        “I'll cross that bridge when I come to it,” Mr. Pepper said.


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