Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Mayoral candidate files

Madisonville neophyte first to challenge Luken

By Howard Wilkinson
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A 39-year-old Madisonville man who has never run for public office is taking on one of the best-known names in Cincinnati politics in the mayor's race.

        Bill Brodberger, who owns a private security firm in Roselawn, has become an official candidate by gathering 500 signatures of registered Cincinnati voters and filing them with the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

        Mr. Brodberger, who has no political party endorsement, is the first to file in this year's Cincinnati mayor's race, which will be the first direct election for mayor in more than 75 years.

        The incumbent Democrat, Charlie Luken, has announced his candidacy but has yet to file petitions with the board of elections.

        “Right now, I am Cincinnati's only choice for mayor,” Mr. Brodberger said.

        That is not likely to be the case very long.

        The Republican Party and the Charter Committee are looking for mayoral candidates, while other independent candidates might file.

        If more than two candidates for mayor file petitions by the June 28 deadline, a primary election will be held Sept. 11. The top two finishers face each other in the Nov. 6 general election.

        At a news conference Tuesday, Mr. Brodberger had no direct criticism of Mr. Luken, saying only that his goal is to “restore professionalism and honor to the mayor's office.”

        Mr. Luken was criticized in some quarters for not reacting quickly enough to the April 7 death of Timothy Thomas, an unarmed black man, at the hands of a Cincinnati police officer.

        “If I am mayor, I will get up out of bed and respond every time the police use lethal force,” Mr. Brodberger. “I want to be there and know what happened.”

        He said he would also work to require that all city workers live in the city, including police officers.

        The mayor elected this fall will be the first to have expanded powers under a new system Cincinnati voters approved in 1999.

        The mayor, who will no longer be a member of council, will initiate the hiring and firing of the city manager and have veto power over council legislation.


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