Election Day: Here are the 23 candidates running for Cincinnati City Council

Who will get your vote?

Learn a little more about the candidates running for Cincinnati City Council. Answers have been edited for brevity; candidates are listed in alphabetical order. 

Non-incumbents:

Derek Bauman / Erica Black-Johnson / Cristina Burcica / Ozie Davis / Tamaya Dennard / Michelle Dillingham / Tonya Dumas / Manuel Foggie / Henry Frondorf / Brian Garry / Lesley Jones / Greg Landsman / Seth Maney / Jeff Pastor / Kelli Prather / Laure Quinlivan / Tamie Sullivan

Incumbents:

David Mann / Amy Murray / Chris Seelbach / P.G. Sittenfeld / Christopher Smitherman / Wendell Young

Meet the non-incumbent candidates running for election

Derek Bauman

Fun or little-known fact? 
My cat Josie is famous on social media. #CityKitty
Occupation
Retired police officer
Party 
Democrat/Charterite 
If elected, what's the most important policy you will push for?
Transportation: Replacing the vital Western Hills Viaduct, solving Metro’s immediate funding crisis in order to connect people to jobs and creating a long-range vision plan for regional transit in order to attract new employers and grow our tax base.

 

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Erica Black-Johnson

Fun or little-known fact
My initial plans were to pursue a law degree after high school
Occupation
Visionary Entrepreneur
Party
Independent
If elected to City Council, what's the most important policy you will push for? 
I will promote Inclusionary Zoning to encourage a percentage of housing developments be allocated to low- to moderate-income households, or income-based.

 

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Cristina Burcica

Fun or little-known fact
Aside from engineering and public service, my big joys in life are spoiling my precious Maltese puppy, Pearl, and maintaining my garden which includes terraces bursting with home grown vegetables and blooming flowers. 
Occupation
Engineer
Party
Non-partisan
What's the most important policy you will push for on Cincinnati City Council?
Public health and safety must be considered our number one priorities. Good leaders know this and have the ability to multitask in their management of all projects, from the smallest, to the most complex.  

 

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Ozie Davis

Fun or little-known fact? 
Graduated Order of the Barristers IU School of Law
Occupation
Consultant 
Party
Democrat
What is the most important policy you will push for on Cincinnati City Council? 
Having the city boldly exclaim the resident is the customer!

 

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Tamaya Dennard

Fun or little-known fact?
At 16, I was chosen to be the Kid Mayor of Cincinnati
Party
Democrat/Charter Committee
Occupation 
Social & Civic Innovation Specialist, Design Impact
If elected to City Council, what's the most important policy you will push for? 
We will revamp and improve our entire transportation system. We're currently using a decades old system. People have changed. Job centers have changed. We need to totally overhaul our approach to transit to connect people to jobs and do so in a more equitable way.

 

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Michelle Dillingham

Fun or little-known fact
Bicyclist, especially with son, Michael
Occupation
Social Worker, CEO of Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati
Party 
Democrat
What is the most important policy you will push for on Cincinnati City Council? 
Investing in neighborhoods, supporting solutions to the heroin crisis & gun violence on a local level.

 

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Tonya Dumas

Fun or little-known fact
I love to hula hoop
Occupation
Business owner
Party
Independent
What is the most important policy you will push for if elected to council?
I will push for economic development, a vision where we investment in our youth. We will create over 1,300 minority owned youth businesses, by selecting 5 young people between 12-24 years of age from each of our 52 neighborhoods (and) supporting their endeavor to create a good or service that adds quality of life for the members of their community.

 

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Manuel Foggie

Fun or little-known fact?
Youngest person running for Cincinnati City Council, at age 19  
Occupation
Private investigator
Party 
Independent
If elected to City Council, what's the most important policy you will push for? 
Bringing a progressive perspective to every issue that comes up, and ensuring that we consider the real world impacts of proposals; such as addressing constituent services issues to help individual people and neighborhood groups with their city related problems. 

 

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Henry Frondorf

Fun or little-known fact
I worked over 600 games as a walking beer vendor for the Reds and Bengals
Occupation
Preconstruction Manager for Lithko Restoration Technologies
Party
Charter
What is the most important policy you will push for on Cincinnati City Council? 
Ensuring that city government is operated on a structurally balanced budget.

 

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Brian Garry

Fun or little-known fact
My bachelor's degree is in music composition, with a minor in art, philosophy and theology.  
Occupation
Green / Sustainable Builder
Party
Independent
What is the most important policy you will push for on Cincinnati City Council?  
The creation of an Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) - last spring, Local Initiative Support Corporation released a study showing that Hamilton County needs 40,000 units to begin to meet the need for affordable housing in our area. Cincinnati itself needs 28,000 units.

 

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Lesley Jones

Occupation
Pastor/Consultant
Party
Democrat
What is the most important policy you will push for on Cincinnati City Council?
I will push policy changes that will reduce gun violence and solve homicides by supporting economic development and job creation in neighborhoods with the highest incidents of gun violence.  

 

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Greg Landsman

Fun or little-known fact? 
My favorite hour of the week is at my 7-year-old daughter's soccer game
Occupation
Former strategic advisor to the Cincinnati Preschool Promise; CEO of the 767 Group, a child and education advocacy firm
Party
Democrat
If elected to City Council, what's the most important policy you will push for? 
I would first work on getting wages up, especially for working parents who are making poverty wages. It’s time for the city take serious action against childhood poverty, and that starts with ensuring that working families make a living wage. 

 

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Seth Maney

Fun or little-known fact?
I am 6’6” and have a 9-month-old Great Dane
Occupation
Real estate
Party
Republican
If elected, what's the most important policy issue you will push for on council? 
Fix our crumbling infrastructure like the Western Hills Viaduct

 

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Jeff Pastor

Fun or little-known fact 
I wear very colorful socks 
Occupation
Executive Director for the CLS Epilepsy Foundation, Inc
Party
Republican
If elected to council, what's the most important policy issue you will push for? 
Job creation

 

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Kelli Prather

Fun or little-known fact 
My nickname is Buffy and I have a puppy named Poncho
Occupation
Ph.D. student and occupational therapist 
Party
Independent
If elected to council, what's the most important policy issue you will push for? 
As a small business owner I am extremely passionate about inclusion.  The city needs to have a policy in place to ensure accountability and oversight on inclusion policies to ensure that small businesses, women businesses, and minority (especially black owned) businesses are included in the wealth structure in Cincinnati.

 

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Laure Quinlivan

Fun or little-known fact?
I teach yoga, and I love yoga 
Occupation
Filmmaker and small business owner
Party
Democrat, running Independently 
If elected to council, what's the most important policy issue you will push for? 
Improved public transit, with regionally funded bus system integrated with rail (streetcar) and bicycle infrastructure.

 

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Tamie Sullivan

Fun or little-known fact?
I danced with the Cincinnati Ballet
Occupation
President, Sullivan Communications, Inc. 
Party
Independent
What is the most important policy you will push for on Cincinnati City Council? There are many important issues, and there are many that I will address as a member of Council; however, it is my intention to first address drug addiction and the opioid epidemic by introducing my comprehensive plan.

 

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Meet the incumbents running for re-election. 

David Mann

Fun or little-known fact
As we followed my dad around during his wartime service in the Navy, I began my public education in the Bronx.  One year later I was in the second grade in Horse Cave, KY needing to make a lot of adjustments to relate to farm boys in bib overalls.  Maybe this helped prepare me for politics.
Occupation
Attorney
Party
Democrat
Most important policy you will push for on council? 
We have to continue on many fronts, of course, within the limits of our budget:  public transportation and affordable housing both require a lot of creative attention.

 

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Amy Murray

Fun or little-known fact 
After spending most of my career assisting Japanese businesses with development in the Greater Cincinnati area, I am able to speak fluently in Japanese
Occupation
Former Global Business Development Manager at Procter & Gamble, Small Business Owner
Party
Republican, Charter
What is the most important policy you will push for on Cincinnati City Council? 

The policy I will continue to push for is the necessity of a structurally balanced budget that prioritizes basic services and public safety. I first ran for Cincinnati City Council because our budget deficits were alarming and I thought that my business background could help the city find some fiscal responsibility. Since I was elected in 2013, Cincinnati has had a structurally balanced budget each year.

 

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Chris Seelbach

Fun or little-known fact
I won the 2013 Cincinnati version of Dancing with the Stars
Occupation
Cincinnati council member
Party
Democrat
What is the most important policy you will push for on city council? 
Poverty: Support my Minimum Qualifying Wage legislation to end tax breaks for poverty wage jobs. Rebuild our bus system to connect working people to their jobs reliably and with more frequency.

 

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P.G. Sittenfeld

Fun or little-known fact
My wife, Sarah, and I have a rescue puppy named Oakley, whom we named after the neighborhood where she and I first met.
Occupation
Entrepreneur, Non-Profit Co-Founder, and Elected Official 
Party
Democrat
What is the most important policy you will push for on Cincinnati City Council?
Job creation, especially through continuing to grow our entrepreneurial ecosystem, since new businesses are going to be the main driver of growth moving forward. 

 

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Christopher Smitherman

Fun or little-known fact? 
I like muscle cars, rodeos and know how to drive a tractor and hope to own a farm one day. 
Occupation
Financial Planner 
Party
Independent 
What is the most important policy you will push for on city council?
The most important policy I would push for on council is the pension and transportation.  The pension long term still needs work and we cannot rely on investment returns to get the city back to solvency.  Mayor John Cranley has taken some very important actions to get the city back on track but there is more work to be done. 

 

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Wendell Young

Fun or little-known fact?
I can sing very well.
Occupation
City councilman, retired police officer 
Party
Democrat
What is the most important policy you will push for on city council? 
The most important policy I will push for on Cincinnati City Council is investing and growing all 52 neighborhoods while maintaining the community’s make-up. This growth brings employment opportunities, make our neighborhoods safer, while improving the overall health of our community. The investment in neighborhoods will also tackle our high infant mortality rates and eliminate food desserts in under-served neighborhoods.

 

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