Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cincy Dems and Other Bits on Election 2010

I've been really lax this week -- it's been crazy, crazy, crazy in my life here in Queer-world. I apologize for not keeping up with the world... but I promise I've got a couple coming through. Including, but not limited to, the follow-ups on the Chris Finney situation.

The Election itself for 2010 is awfully quiet. I got to meet a possible City Council nominee for the Dem's this past weekend -- he was making the rounds at a few gay meetings to introduce himself and shake hands -- and he was cute enough. Seemed supportive, overall, but I didn't get a chance to really ask him a lot of detailed questions. I'll be sure to talk more about him once the Dems, Reps, and Charterites give their nods.

The biggest thing out there is an interesting article from the Cincinnati Enquirer on State Rep. Tyrone Yates and (possibly) Commissioner Todd Portune entering the Senate race for Ohio, against the growing field that already included Jennifer Brunner (D), Lee Fisher (D), and Rob Portman (R). It's starting to look like an all-out brawl, though the Dems are looking nicely to pick it up.

However, sadly enough for Yates/Portune is that Cincy Dems do not have a strong history on the state-wide scale, from the Enquirer:

There just haven't been many in the past 40 years, as Democratic primary elections have been dominated by northeast Ohio where the highest concentration of Democratic voters lives.

The last Cincinnatian to win one of the major state offices was John Gilligan who won the governor's office 39 years ago. Even after he won it, he couldn't keep it - he lost his bid for re-election four years later.

Jerry Springer, fresh off his stint as Cincinnati mayor and council, ran in the Democratic primary for governor 1982, but came in third in a field of three.

Cincinnati-area Republicans have never had that problem - the region has produced plenty of GOP statewide candidates, from former Ohio Gov. Bob Taft and former secretary of state J. Kenneth Blackwell to former state treasurer Joe Deters.

For decades now, Democratic candidates for any of the state's constitutional offices - governor, secretary of state, auditor and treasurer - and the state's two U.S. Senate seats tend to be from parts of the state other than Cincinnati and southwest Ohio.

But there are some signs that may change soon.

"I'm not saying we have gone completely blue in Hamilton County, but everything has been moving in our direction in the last few elections,'' said Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman Tim Burke, pointing to Barack Obama's win over John McCain in Hamilton County and Steve Driehaus' ousting Republican incumbent Steve Chabot in the 1st Congressional District last fall.
A lot of the outcome is hinging on the economy -- and once very popular Gov. Strickland is starting to sink in the polls because of it (threatening his cozy position, but no one has really stepped up yet to take it on, except for a minor State Senator from Cuyahoga Falls -- please don't let me eat those words).

And all of this matters, of course, because 2011 is the redistricting year -- EEP! This is the year to be in control.

Oh, and the other big news is that Jim Bunning in Kentucky continues to plug on. I'm actually starting to respect the old curmudgeon, going up against the establishment and all that. I'm impressed. But, of course, anyone who takes on Mitch McConnell in a nasty, to-the-political-death fight very much in public is my hero. You know what the respectability of McConnell becomes should Bunning win the election.

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