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Commission candidates reflect on campaigning amid COVID-19

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Posted at 11:46 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 00:24:13-04

HAMILTON COUNTY — Three Democrats are running to fill late Hamilton County commissioner Todd Portune’s seat -- Connie Pillich, Alicia Reece and Kelli Prather.

All three said they’ve had to get creative over the last month, because normal campaign tactics, like shaking hands and knocking on doors, weren’t an option with COVID-19.

They all said the seat holds a lot of weight, and the pandemic proves that even more with so much funding for response efforts filtering through the county.

As the candidates were waiting, they told WCPO they're just eager to find out who won.

“We felt kind of untethered and adrift because this isn’t the way we’re supposed to campaign, according to conventional wisdom, but I am greatly looking forward to getting the results in,” Pillich said.

Reece said the pandemic response has echoed the slogan for her campaign.

“I’ve been running on ‘one Hamilton County,’ and when I look around, and I see what’s going on, it really touches me. One Hamilton County. We’re stronger when we come together and we’re coming together,” Reece said.

To Prather, her campaign doesn’t feel far-fetched in the midst of a historic pandemic.

“A lot of people say that I am the underdog in the race, but who ever thought that we’d have a pandemic that shut down the world? So who is to say that a Kelli Prather will not be elected to the Hamilton County Commission? I’m just excited. I’m really excited,” Prather said.

As for the results, the Hamilton County Board of Elections released a statement Tuesday evening saying the results will be delayed due to the high number of absentee ballot votes. WCPO will update our primary results here as soon as results are available.