Wednesday, January 7, 2004

Failed council candidates set sights on higher offices

Around the suburbs

If at first you don't succeed, aim higher.

Apparently that's the philosophy of several failed Cincinnati City Council candidates who are now seeking county and state offices.

The foremost among them, Chris Monzel, placed 12th out of 26 council candidates in November's elections, and was knocked out of his council seat. Monzel has now joined a crowded field seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune this fall.

Civic activist Pete Witte of Price Hill is running for the Ohio House of Representatives after placing 15th in the council race. The Republican is challenging Democratic incumbent Steve Driehaus in the 31st District.

Another neighborhood activist, Tom Jones of Avondale, is carrying the Republican banner against 33rd District state Rep. Tyrone Yates, a Democrat and former member of - you guessed it - Cincinnati City Council. Jones placed 18th in the 2003 council race.

LEBANON: The Warren County Young Republican Club has ambition.

The group plans a Feb. 7 gala that will feature U.S. Rep. Rob Portman, Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio Sen. Robert Schuler and state Reps. Tom Raga and Tom Brinkman, among others.

J. Matthew Rodriguez, chairman of the club and a Lebanon city councilman, said the event would invigorate the club.

"We wanted to include a mix from state and local government," he said. "We want to make an example of what a Young Republican Club should be statewide."

The gala, to run 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday, will cost $25 per person or $35 per couple, with children free.

All funds raised will benefit the Warren County Young Republican Club.

CAMPAIGN EVENTS: Groups planning forums or debates for candidates in upcoming races are encouraged to let us know about them.

For Hamilton County races, e-mail or fax 768-8340; for Clermont races,; for Butler races,; and for Warren races,

Clermont, Butler and Warren items may also be faxed to 755-4150.

Cindi Andrews and Jon Gambrell contributed.

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