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Quinlivan Passed Over For Council Endorsement By Democrats

Former council member Laure Quinlivan
Sarah Ramsey
Former council member Laure Quinlivan

A Democratic Party screening committee tasked with recommending a slate of Cincinnati City Council candidates has come up with a list of nine it would like to see endorsed.

But the biggest surprise on the list is the absence of the name of former council member Laure Quinlivan, who has taken out petitions to run again and interviewed last week with the 17-member screening committee of the Cincinnati Democratic Committee (CDC).

Quinlivan could not immediately be reached for comment on the snub.

Four years ago, Quinlivan finished 10th in the council race, just out of the running for one of the nine seats on council. 

There are no party designations on the ballot in Cincinnati municipal elections. Quinlivan could run without a party endorsement if she chooses.

Party officials would not speak on the record about the list, saying they wanted all members of the Cincinnati Democratic Committee to see it before commenting.

The CDC will meet on Wednesday, April 26 at the Letter Carriers Union hall in Northside to vote on the recommended candidates. There are approximately 135 members of the committee, but they are not all guaranteed to show up.

Passing over Quinlivan may have been a matter of numbers and an effort to make the ticket a racially diverse one.

The four incumbent Democrats who are running for re-election are on the screening committee's list of candidates to endorse – David Mann, Chris Seelbach, P.G. Sittenfeld, and Wendell Young.

Of them, only Young is African-American.

The non-incumbents who are being recommended for endorsement include two white candidates who ran strong but losing campaigns in 2013 – Greg Landsman, who has been involved in the Preschool Promise initiative; and community activist Michelle Dillingham of Kennedy Heights.

Three African-American non-incumbents, all first-time candidates, were recommended for endorsement – Avondale community activist Ozie Davis III, former Sittenfeld aide Tamaya Dennard and Lesley Jones, pastor of the Truth & Destiny Covenant Ministries Fellowship United Church of Christ in Mount Airy.

If approved by the full CDC, the Democratic slate would include five white candidates, four African-Americans and three women.

The Hamilton County Republican Party so far has endorsed only two candidates – teacher Jeff Pastor, a first-time candidate, and incumbent Amy Murray.

The Charter Committee, Cincinnati's independent political party, is in the process of putting together a slate.

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Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU News Team after 30 years of covering local and state politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio governor’s race since 1974 as well as 12 presidential nominating conventions. His streak continued by covering both the 2012 Republican and Democratic conventions for 91.7 WVXU. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots; the Lucasville Prison riot in 1993; the Air Canada plane crash at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983; and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. The Cincinnati Reds are his passion. "I've been listening to WVXU and public radio for many years, and I couldn't be more pleased at the opportunity to be part of it,” he says.