CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The City Council has nine seats -- and at this moment --Democratic Party insiders believe that a majority will be filled after the Nov. 6 election by people who are already there. Three are Democrats, and two are members of the independent Charter Party. The other expected winner is a Republican who once was a Democrat and now is out of public office. There are 25 candidates seeking the 9 seats and they run in a field race citywide. The top 9 vote getters are elected.
Now for the 6 names, alphabetical and not by order of expected finish:
Council member Chris Bortz, Charterite.
Council member Laketa Cole, D
Council member John Cranley, D
Council member David Crowley, D
Council member Roxanne Qualls, Charterite
Charlie Winburn, R (a former council member)
These others are described as very much in the hunt for three openings:
Council member Jeff Berding, D
Minette Cooper, D (a former council member)
Pat Fischer, R
Council member Leslie Ghiz, R
Council member Chris Monzel, R
Council member Cecil Thomas, D
These candidates are described as still having a shot, or as one Dem insider handicapped their chances, "I'd say they're on the low bubble."
Melanie Bates, C (a Cincinnati school board member and former Hamilton County Democratic Party executive director looking to change jobs)
Brian Garry, D
Sam Malone, R (a former council member)
Mitch Painter, I
Wendell Young, D
The Daily Bellwether got the list after lunches and discussions with several of Hamilton County's top Democrats. A couple of senior Republicans were asked for opinions, and they agreed their list looks the same. If there is a surprise in this, it is Pat Fischer, a former Cincinnati Bar Association president and downtown lawyer who is well-financed. Fischer lives in Pleasant Ridge, a Democratic neighborhood where he served as community council president. Several of the Democrats said they knew him, liked him and planned to vote for him.
Fischer also got a boost from a half-page write up in the monthly newsletter for his Catholic parish, the Church of the Nativity of Our Lord. There he was described as a GOPer who "bridge the gap between political parties" and work with the Democrats at City Hall. That is the kind of micro-level news that is priceless and only helped to build positive word of mouth for Fischer, a 49-year-old Harvard grad who got his law degree at the same school. He told the church bulletin: "I respect people that I disagree with."
Nobody would bet that Fischer is elected to council. At most, they said he has had a good couple of weeks and built momentum to become a contender.