Thursday, November 4, 2004

Democrats now occupy three posts in county


Coroner joins commissioner, auditor

By Cindi Andrews
Enquirer staff writer

Hamilton County Democrats disappointed in the presidential race had better success at the bottom of the ticket.

ELECTION 2004
Bush prevails at polls
What to watch for this term

ONLINE EXTRAS
Photo gallery: Celebration and concession
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County by county interactive map
Election 2004 section

OHIO
Election fuss gave Blackwell a boost
Intense 2008 election forecast for Ohio
All those visits to SW Ohio paid off for the president
Voters look to the future
Ohio seeks vote answers
Academic gains helped levy win, but Cincinnati must cut
Democrats now occupy three posts in county
5 Hamilton County school districts passed tax levies
Lakota cuts; Fairfield restores
Warren vote count was slow, others OK
Once and future prosecutor promises he'll clean up office

KENTUCKY
Despite some long lines, voting was mostly smooth
Kids vote just like adults
Republicans bask in victory
Pro-Kerry homework irks Mom
They ousted the Republican coroner and solidified their hold on a county commissioner's seat, for a total of three countywide Democratic officeholders. Dusty Rhodes has been county auditor since 1990.

The Democrats' success is significant in the historically Republican territory, although no one is saying it's a sea change in county politics.

"It's still a difficult county, just not the impossible county that it used to be," county Democratic Co-chairman Tim Burke said.

Democratic County Commissioner Todd Portune easily bested retired Juvenile Judge David Grossmann, the winner of a five-way GOP primary in March. Portune took 57 percent of the vote, or 222,198 to Grossmann's 165,936, in the county Board of Elections' final, unofficial results.

"Todd Portune is a very formidable force in Hamilton County politics at this point," said University of Cincinnati professor Al Tuchfarber, a GOP consultant.

Portune did better against Grossmann, in fact, than he did in upsetting Bob Bedinghaus in 2000. Portune defeated Bedinghaus, 48 percent to 43 percent in a race that included a third-party candidate.

Republicans will still keep a 2-1 edge on the Board of County Commissioners, as Cincinnati Councilman Pat DeWine easily defeated Democrat Eve Bolton, a former county recorder, in the second race, 211,634 to 169,109.

The other Democratic winner was Dr. O'dell Owens, a fertility specialist and director of US Bank. He unseated Coroner Carl Parrott Jr. by a vote of 198,525 to 177,185.

In early 2001 it was discovered that an artist had taken photos of posed bodies in the morgue. Families are suing the county for millions of dollars.

"The coroner's office had gotten some bad publicity, and maybe some unfair bad publicity, over the past few years," county GOP Chairman Michael Barrett said.

Republican incumbents for treasurer and recorder held onto their seats, and Greg Hartmann, the GOP clerk of courts, keeps his job, to which he was appointed almost two years ago.

E-mail candrews@enquirer.com




ELECTION 2004
Bush prevails at polls
George W. Bush's victory speech
Text of John Kerry's concession speech
What to watch for this term

OHIO
Election fuss gave Blackwell a boost
Intense 2008 election forecast for Ohio
All those visits to SW Ohio paid off for the president
Voters look to the future
Ohio seeks vote answers
Academic gains helped levy win, but Cincinnati must cut
Democrats now occupy three posts in county
5 Hamilton County school districts passed tax levies
Lakota cuts; Fairfield restores
Warren vote count was slow, others OK
Once and future prosecutor promises he'll clean up office

KENTUCKY
Despite some long lines, voting was mostly smooth
Kids vote just like adults
Republicans bask in victory
Pro-Kerry homework irks Mom

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