Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Recount could boost Dems

Norwood council seat votes to be retallied

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NORWOOD — Election night is over, but an official vote count keeps alive Democrats' hopes that they could claim all nine City Council seats.

        The Hamilton County Board of Elections announced Tuesday that a recount is necessary for the one apparent Republican victory, in Ward 5, which comprises a large part of Norwood's southern portion.

        On Nov. 6, Republican Cassandra Brown seemed the winner, beating Democrat Michael McKeehan by 17 votes.

        Then, on Saturday, election workers counted the “provisional ballots” cast by walk-in voters and absentee ballots that had been postmarked in time but didn't arrive at the board until after the election.

        Saturday's count showed that Ms. Brown's lead was a mere two votes, prompting an automatic recount that will happen Nov. 28. If the candidates ultimately tie, a flip of a coin will determine the winner.

        “I'm just thrilled, regardless of what the results may be,” Mr. McKeehan said.

        “I was real pleased to hear that we made up that much ground.”

        City officials say that Ms. Brown is likely to remain the representative for Ward 5, which has not been represented by a Democrat since the late 1980s.

        “We're just kind of holding our breath and hoping that it swings our way,” said Tim Molony, the city's treasurer and co-chairman of the city's Democratic Committee.

        Republican Mayor Joe Hochbein could not be reached, but he has said having so many Democrats on the council could prove beneficial.

        The current council has five Republicans and four Democrats. Too many meetings have been bogged down in long debates, he said.


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