Thursday, June 13, 2002
An early look at a politician
I am waiting for my date breakfast at First Watch in Norwood. I'm early, so I have a chance to check the room. Several somebodies are pitching for support, looking for funding or maybe just ideas and votes. Projects. Campaigns. Events. A lot of them begin at places like this, over a bagel or muffin or mondo egg-o-rama.
I've asked for the meeting to see what draws a newcomer to politics these days. And what draws him back to Cincinnati. Among the nearly consistently bad news for our community coming out of the last census is a 13 percent drop in the number of people ages 25-34.
Tony Fischer and I have never met, but I know he's 24 years old and blondish. An unusual number of diners this morning fit that description. They appear slightly alarmed at my interest. Maybe they think I was sent by their mother to spy.
Tony arrives, right on time, and ambles over to my table a young man who knows where he's going, but doesn't make a big production about it. He is running for the Ohio Senate seat vacated by Richard Finan, who was term-limited out of office. The young candidate does not see himself as a Democratic sacrificial lamb in the predominantly-Republican 7th District. He sees himself as a publicly educated citizen who comes from a place that's special but not everything it could be.
I give him extra points because he does not say he wants to make a difference and give something back. He thinks government is fun. At school, he e-mailed friends to toss around ideas. Somebody would go on a road trip maybe to Boston, maybe to Barcelona and see something to bring back home. Not a beer mug. An idea.
A graduate of Walnut Hills High School and Georgetown University, Tony says transportation and schools are his issues. He has driven his 1986 Chevy Nova around my district, which sprawls over Warren County and spills into Cincinnati's east-side neighborhoods including his own Mount Lookout.
Our conversation is interrupted by a table-hopping heavy-hitter. Tony inks the name on his hand, a gesture at once youthful and savvy. He'll learn to carry paper. He already knows what to write down.
Tony ran unopposed in the May primary and will be up against former state Rep. Robert Schuler in November. In the Enquirer's annual report card on area legislators, Rep. Schuler was said to be intelligent and low-key.
Tony is intelligent and keyed up, impatient. He has ideas about moving people around: in from the suburbs to the exurbs to the inner city. He has a plan for school boards to be entrepreneurial. He has energy and as was his custom as a student he has done his homework.
His campaign officially starts Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the Carnegie Center of Columbia Tusculum, 3738 Eastern Ave. The candidate will seek support. He's young that's for sure. And maybe seeking public office at the age of 24 is a little early.
Or maybe he's right on time.
E-mail Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 768-8393.
No outlet: You can't/get there from here
Priest's accuser details his story
City gun lawsuit can go forward
Schools fret over new busing rule
Blue Ash steps up sister city link
College moving ahead as it marks milestone
Flooding on agenda tonight in Anderson
New Fairfield preschool is a collaborative effort
Ohio justice seeks overseer role
Pete Rose to see new Reds park
Police, probation officers to check on convicts together
Tristate A.M. Report
PULFER: Tony Fischer
RADEL: Sleepless knight
Convicted nurse arrested in Mich.
Lebanon nears deal on buying school lot
Man ID'd by database gets prison in rape case
Man who cut off dogs' tails given jail
Judge shall not show poster
Nuke-waste routes in Ohio protested
Ohio town firm on tracking solicitors
Shop owner charged with smuggling Honduran artifacts
University of Dayton's 'Brother Ray' retiring
Woman relieved after resolving Social Security bill for $102,000
Appeals court rules for drug-treatment clinic
Bears find home in park
Fire at school won't delay classes
Foal deaths linked to caterpillars
Kentucky News Briefs
Layoffs may signal another slowdown in coal mining
Man's death at mental-health clinic investigated
Regional reserves of blood trickling
Two dropped from school lawsuit