Best Of 2017

Best intra-party schism, local division: Democratic Party

Best intra-party schism, local division

The year 2016 witnessed the continued widening of a big split in Cincinnati and Hamilton County politics: a rift between two factions of the local Democratic Party. On one side are established players with mostly moderate policies like Mayor John Cranley. On the other, to varying degrees, are younger, generally more progressive politicians and candidates looking to shake things up. The most obvious example is Councilwoman Yvette Simpson, who announced in the summer that she would challenge Cranley in the 2017 mayoral race. Simpson has some allies, including fellow council member Chris Seelbach and various other candidates. The first big skirmish happened over the streetcar during Cranley’s first election four years ago. But the divisions have only intensified since then, and the 2017 mayoral and Council races look likely to turn past skirmishes between old-guard Democrats and the local party’s young urban progressive wing into an all-out war.