Thursday, September 25, 2003

Fox defiant as he opens campaign to keep seat


Suburban Insider

HAMILTON - The free-for-all has begun.

Butler County Commissioner Mike Fox officially launched his re-election bid Wednesday, holding court in a rally at the county courthouse.

Butler County Republican Party leaders recently decided to support Ohio Rep. Greg Jolivette instead.

Fox says he feels betrayed by his own party because he accused Republican judges of corruption and arrogance. Party leaders deny telling Fox to back off, but say they have grown tired of his "grandstanding."

"I am not going to bow down to a handful of political bosses who got their feelings hurt and their noses out of joint," Fox said. "There are reforms I am trying to make, and the issues I am trying to raise are important to every child, parent and resident of Butler County. As long as they honor me with the privilege to serve them, I will stand up and speak out for the things they believe in."

Sly maneuvering

HAMILTON - A fresh uproar exploded this week in Fox's battle with county GOP leaders.

Fox's supporters have been telephoning members of the party's central and executive committees for personal information such as e-mail addresses and to invite them to his rally.

Problem is, the callers identified themselves as members of "The Butler County Republican Party" updating the party's database, according to three committee members who got the calls.

Joe Schwarz, executive party chairman, said he heard from five or six upset committee members.

"I don't want the misrepresentation, and I don't want my party members thinking we are conducting a survey because we are not," he said.

On Tuesday, the party sent a letter to committee members, warning them: "The individuals making these calls are misrepresenting themselves and their efforts."

Fox denies that callers on his behalf are misrepresenting themselves. But he says many Republicans in Butler County support him and will continue to do so.

This way to the Hill

HAMILTON - Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum has become such a big drawing card that city officials have asked Butler County to change Hamilton-Cleves Road to Pyramid Hill Boulevard.

Since opening in 1996, the park - located in St. Clair Township, just outside Hamilton - has developed a national reputation for its sculpture and its natural beauty.

Hamilton-Cleves Road (Ohio 128), runs through Ross and St. Clair townships and Hamilton.

Suburban Insider is compiled by Jennifer Edwards with contributions this week from Steve Kemme

E-mail jedwards@enquirer.com..




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