Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Grossmann wins GOP race for commission

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COMPLETE COVERAGE Special Election Coverage
Hamilton County Republicans think retired Judge David Grossmann is their party's best chance to take back the first commissioner seat held by a Democrat in decades.

"His advertising was clean; he talked more about values," Steve Thiemann, 36, of Delhi Township said after voting. "Republicans care about values."

Grossmann took 40 percent of the vote in the five-way race, according to unofficial results.

In November, he will take on Todd Portune in the Westwood Democrat's first test since knocking off Republican Bob Bedinghaus four years ago. Portune was unopposed Tuesday in the Democratic primary.

Grossmann promised Tuesday night that he'll be a voice for the suburban cities and townships, which make up 61 percent of the county's population.

"There's an old saying, 'You stand where you sit,' and we sit in the townships," he said. "They need a voice."

Heavy TV and newspaper advertising helped build name recognition for Grossmann, who was last on the ballot in 1992. He stressed his opposition to gay rights and abortion.

The 75-year-old retired in 1998 after 23 years as a Juvenile Court judge. He is former president of the Greenhills-Forest Park Board of Education.

He handily beat four opponents: Former Cincinnati council member Chris Monzel of Winton Place, who took 26 percent of the vote; Blue Ash council member Jim Sumner, 17 percent; Anderson Township Trustee Russ Jackson, 9 percent, and financial planner Sandra Hall of Sycamore Township, 8 percent.

The race was marked by none of the rancor of the Pat DeWine-John Dowlin race, a fact that may have contributed to it being overlooked by voters. "It surprised me that there was a second race on the ballot," Delhi Township Republican Dave Neiheisel, 64, said after voting.

Reporter Jennifer Edwards contributed.E-mail

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