Saturday, March 10, 2001

Dems to endorse new slate

By Howard Wilkinson
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A Democratic nominating committee will recommend a nine-member Cincinnati City Council slate full of “fours” - four incumbents, four blacks, four women and four candidates who have never run before.

        The Cincinnati Democratic Committee (CDC), made up of Democratic precinct executives, will meet this morning to formally endorse the slate.

        At the head of the slate will be the mayoral candidate, incumbent Charlie Luken, who is the only announced candidate in what will be Cincinnati's first direct mayoral election in more than 75 years.

        In addition to the four incumbent Democrats on council — Minette Cooper, Paul Booth, John Cranley and Alicia Reece — the nominating committee is recommending five non-incumbent candidates:

        • David Crowley, a Mount Adams businessman who ran a bipartisan voter registration campaign in the city last fall.

        • David Pepper, a lawyer and son of Procter & Gamble chair man John Pepper.

        • Lawra Baumann, assistant vice president and foundation officer at Fifth Third Bank.

        • Akiva Freeman, a former City Council aide who is in the real estate management business.

        • Jane Anderson, an East Walnut Hills resident and adjunct professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati.

        Of the five non-incumbent candidates, only Ms. Anderson has run for council before. In 1999, she ran 15th of 20 candidates.

        Also up for grabs will be the council seat of Republican Phil Heimlich, who, under Cincinnati's term limits law, cannot run for re-election this year.

        Two other council seats are vulnerable because the incumbents were recently appointed.

        Mr. Cranley took over for Todd Portune in December, after the Democrat was elected a Hamilton County commissioner. Last month, Republican Chris Monzel was appointed to replace the term-limited Charles Winburn, who left to take an appointment to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.

        The Hamilton County Republican Party's nominating committee will interview potential council candidates at the party's downtown headquarters today.

        The Charter Committee expects to endorse a slate of three to five council candidates “as soon as possible,” said Charter executive director Jeff Cramerding.


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