Election breakdown: all 24 candidates explained

Photo Courtesy of Jennie Key | There will be elections on Nov. 7 to decide who will be filling the nine open city council seats and who will be the next mayor of Cincinnati.

On Tuesday, registered voters in Cincinnati will be deciding on the leaders of their municipal government at polling locations across the city, including one inside Gallagher Student Center’s Arrupe Overlook. But the real question is, “What’s on the ballot?”

There are four representative positions up for election: the mayor, nine seats on city council, the Judge of Hamilton County Municipal District 2 and four spots on the Board of Education for Cincinnati Public Schools. There are also four tax levies, a proposed law and a constitutional amendment for you, the voters, to decide on. Due to the number of people running for city council, this is a (brief) Xavier student’s voting guide to the Cincinnati city council elections of 2017.

A sample ballot can be found, along with a voter’s polling location, on the Hamilton County Board of Elections website, boe.hamilton-co.org


There are only two candidates vying for the mayoral position in Cincinnati: Yvette Simpson, a current city council person, and John Cranley, the incumbent mayor. You can read more about them on the Newswire website here.

City Council

Despite there being only nine spots on city council, 24 people are vying for these positions. City council members are tasked with representing the city’s interests. Due to the large number of candidates, the following constitutes a list of the candidates and minor notes on any significant history that they might have.

  • David Mann, incumbent vice mayor and city council member since 2013, former mayor from 1980 to 1982 and in 1991 and former U.S. representative for Ohio’s 1st district
  • Amy Murray, incumbent, city council member since 2013 and the only GOP endorsed candidate running for city council in any major urban area in Ohio.
  • Chris Seelbach, incumbent, city council member since 2011 and the city’s first openly gay elected official.
  • P.G. Sittenfeld, incumbent, was the youngest person elected to city council in 2011 at the age of 26.
  • Christopher Smitherman, incumbent, city council member since 2011, although he did also serve from 2003 to 2005, former head of the Cincinnati NAACP from 2000 to 2008.
  • Wendell Young, incumbent, city council member since 2010 and a former police officer who served and lives in Avondale.
  • Derek Bauman, a former police officer who received the Medal of Valor after suffering a career-ending injury while making a felony arrest.
  • Erica Black-Johnson, a former member of North College Hill City Council from 2007 to 2009 and social worker.
  • Cristina Burcica, born in Romania in 1973, though a current U.S. citizen.
  • Ozie Davis, a board member of the Community Development Corporation Association of Greater Cincinnati who is a well-known community activist.
  • Tamaya Dennard, has worked as a top aide for current councilman P.G. Sittenfeld’s government office and campaigns and is a social innovation specialist with nonprofit Design Impact.
  • Michelle Dillingham, a social worker and current CEO for Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati.
  • Tonya Dumas, a former employee of Cincinnati Public Schools, graduate of Xavier University and owner and operator of a home décor business.
  • Manuel Foggie, the youngest candidate, is only 20 years old and a current student at Mount St. Joseph.
  • Henry Frondorf, founder and director of the first ever Cincinnati Neighborhood Games, which lead to him being recognized by the city for community building.
  • Brian Garry, a former Cincinnati Public Schools teacher and small business owner with a history of Cincinnati social activism.
  • Lesley Jones, a licensed pastor and former Executive Director for Cincinnati Human Relations Commission and Equality Cincinnati.
  • Greg Landsman, former Director of the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives and a former high school teacher who spearheaded the Pre-K promise initiative.
  • Seth Maney, the first openly gay GOP endorsed candidate in the United States and a real estate agent and developer.
  • Jeff Pastor, a teacher at King Academy Community School who has served in the United States Navy Reserve and Ohio Army National Guard.
  • Kelli Prather, a current Ph.D. candidate for Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Public Policy and Social Change at the Union Institute & University who also served as a Ohio Justice and Policy Center Delegate for the 1st National Convention of the Formerly Incarcerated Convicted People and Family Member Movement.
  • Laure Quinlivan, a city councilwoman who served from 2009 to 2013 and has worked as an investigative reporter for Channel 9’s I-team for 13 years.
  • Tamie Sullivan, owner of her own marketing and communications company and a longtime registered Republican who made waves last year when she wrote an OP/ED for the Enquirer detailing why she would never vote for Trump.
  • Dadrien Washington, a write-in candidate.

By: Kevin Thomas ~Campus News Editor~ 

One thought on “Election breakdown: all 24 candidates explained

  1. You forgot to mention Brian Garry is on probation and on the “box”. He will probably be charged for getting someone in the courthouse to change his name on the case in order to deceive voters. Look up Brian Crum on courtclerk.org . He has been sued over 20 times by small businesses,people and the state for not paying taxes. He has been caught driving under suspension and using false plates more than 8 times. Dont vote for him. It a shame our media dont report the truth.

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