CINCINNATI - After a short delay, Cincinnati’s unofficial third political party voted Wednesday night to endorse three more candidates for Cincinnati City Council.
The Charter Committee gave its endorsement to Democrats Greg Landsman and David Mann, along with Republican Amy Murray.
As WCPO Digital first reported last week, the Charter Committee’s governing board delayed an endorsement vote July 24 based on concerns from some Charterites.
Those Charterites included Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls and Councilwoman Yvette Simpson.
Some board members two weeks ago wanted more time to ponder the nominating committee's criteria for recommending endorsements.
Qualls and Simpson also expressed concern with Charter endorsing Murray, a Republican. Additionally, Landsman and Mann oppose a city parking lease that Qualls and Simpson strongly support.
Those concerns, however, weren’t enough to sway Charter’s board.
“We based our endorsements on Charter’s Statement of Principles,” said Bob Dehner, who heads Charter’s endorsement committee. “It was not about where a candidate stood on a particular issue, but about how they viewed the importance of process, if they were willing to be held accountable by our board, and if they were willing to work together, across party lines to move our city forward.”
Formed 89 years ago, Charter has a long history of being involved in Cincinnati politics. The group's endorsement typically conveys a commitment to the civic good and placing the public interest above political considerations.
The three candidates were thankful for the cross-endorsement from Charter.
“I am a strong Democrat who identifies with the core principles of the Charter Committee: good government, greater transparency and accountability, shared services, and getting people to work together across party lines,” Landsman said. “That is how we are going to get things done to get Cincinnati growing again.”
In April, Charter endorsed its own candidates for City Council: Simpson Kevin Flynn and Vanessa White.
Qualls is a Democrat Democrats who was cross-endorsed by Charter in 2011. This year, she is running for mayor and – at least so far – isn’t endorsed by Charter.
Charter has cross-endorsed candidates in the past, although it isn’t that common.
“We view these cross-endorsements as an opportunity to unite people of many points of view under a principle-based banner that is Charter,” said Executive Committee Chairman Michael Goldman.
“We believe the best decisions come from serious open debate and also collaboration,” Goldman added. “We know that, if elected, this slate will work together to find the best solutions.”
Formed in 1924, the Charter Committee helped end the corrupt political machine operated by "Boss" George Cox, a Republican who dominated City Hall and local politics, arranging tasks like fixing tax rates for friends and contributors.
Charter successfully pushed to create the city manager form of government, which was designed to de-politicize the daily administrative tasks of municipal government.