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Cincinnati mayoral primary will likely include nine candidates

Eight are Democrats
Cincinnati City Hall at night
Posted at 7:06 PM, Feb 18, 2021

CINCINNATI — It will likely be a healthy mix of political veterans and newcomers who will compete for two spots on November's ballot in the race for mayor of Cincinnati.

The Hamilton County Board of Elections posted the final list of mayoral candidates who can appear on the May 4 primary ballot. The top two vote-getters will advance to the general election runoff.

While the mayoral race is nonpartisan, the lineup of prospectives is remarkable in its size -- nine -- and their party affiliations: Eight of the nine are Democrats.

Here's who's running, listed in alphabetical order:

Gavi Begtrup, Democrat
Age: 37
Neighborhood: Mount Lookout
Party: Democrat

Adam Paul Teague Koehler
Age: 44
Neighborhood: Mount Auburn
Party: Democrat

David Mann
Age: 81
Neighborhood: Clifton
Party: Democrat

Herman J. Najoli
Age: 44
Neighborhood: West Price Hill
Party: Independent

Kelli Prather
Age: 48
Neighborhood: West Price Hill
Party: Democrat

Raffel Prophett
Age: 61
Neighborhood: Avondale
Party: Democrat

Aftab Pureval
Age: 38
Neighborhood: Clifton
Party: Democrat

Cecil Thomas
Age: 68
Neighborhood: Avondale
Party: Democrat

Wendell Young
Age: 75
Neighborhood: Avondale
Party: Democrat

If a lot of the names sound familiar, that's because at least half of the candidates previously have appeared on ballots in Hamilton County.

Mann and Young currently sit on Cincinnati City Council, and Pureval is currently serving as the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts. Mann also served previously as Cincinnati's mayor and the local representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Thomas previously served on City Council and recently served in the Ohio State Senate.

Prather was on the 2020 primary ballot in the race for an open seat on the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners and ran in the Democratic primary for a then-open seat in the U.S. Senate.

To earn a spot on the primary ballot, candidates had to collect at least 500 valid signatures from registered Cincinnati voters. The deadline to submit signatures was 4 p.m. Thursday.