By Reid Forgrave
The Cincinnati Enquirer
FOREST PARK - This northern Hamilton County city is keeping government in the family.
After the recent death of Councilwoman Elaine Mooney, the remaining six members of council this month appointed Nathan Pugh, son of Councilwoman Clara Pugh, to fill the seat until the November elections.
"He grew up in a family interested in public service, so it doesn't surprise me," said Clara Pugh, who also will be up for re-election in the fall. "But to me (when council is in session), he'll just be another member of council."
Nathan Pugh, a father of three grown children and Forest Park resident for eight years, has filed for re-election in November. He and his mother will be two of four candidates for three open spots.
He said people shouldn't expect him to be a reflection of his mother on council.
"My mom has her own opinions, her own mind, and I have mine," Nathan Pugh said. "That's the way she raised us - to be independent thinkers."
Nathan Pugh said he pretty much stays away from discussing politics with his mother. His goal as a councilman is improving recreational opportunities and broadening cultural exposure.
The mayor of Forest Park - whose cousin, Shirley Salters, is the mayor of the nearby village of Lincoln Heights - said she's concerned about the perception of nepotism. But she knows voters will get to make the final decision in November.
"It just makes our council look like a family affair," said Mayor Stephanie Summerow Dumas. "But it's really not anything to worry about, so I'll just go with the flow."
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