Smitherman eyeing Hamilton Co. commissioner seat

Posted at 2:44 PM, Nov 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-24 14:44:55-05

CINCINNATI — The GOP might have a hopeful back in the race for Hamilton County's next commissioner.

Cincinnati City Councilman Christopher Smitherman announced Tuesday that he pulled paperwork to file for candidacy for the county’s legislative body. As WCPO previously reported, Smitherman said Monday he was “very interested” in the commissioner job.

Tuesday's announcement came just one day after Republican and current commissioner Greg Hartmann announced he would not run for re-election in 2016.

IN DEPTH: Hamilton Co. GOP not ready to hand over power

Hartmann’s decision not to run as an incumbent had GOPers in Hamilton County scrambling Monday: Hartmann was supposed to be the well-funded Republican (with name recognition, to boot) who would face off against Democrat Denise Driehaus next November.

Smitherman identifies as an independent, but would run as a Republican in the 2016 race.

Republicans have enjoyed the majority on the three-member county commission since 2010 – giving them power in votes, including a 2014 deal that kicked Music Hall off a plan to fund renovations with a sales tax increase. If a Democrat is elected to the county board, which controls a $200 million annual budget and dictates how millions of your tax dollars will be spent, things are certain to change.

WCPO's Amanda Seitz and Paula Christian contributed to this report.