Best Of 2017

Best what-in-the-hell-is-going-on-with-local-politics moment: Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil

Best what-in-the-hell-is-going-on-with-local-politics moment

In yet another sign of 2016’s topsy-turvy political environment, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil set off minor political shockwaves when he appeared at a March 13 campaign rally for GOP presidential primary frontrunner Donald Trump in West Chester. Neil, a Democrat, did not speak at the event but was named by Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones during the latter’s remarks introducing Trump. Jones, a Republican, has been a controversial figure for his far-right views on immigration and other issues. Neil and Jones posed for photos together onstage during the event. The first-term Hamilton County sheriff appeared on a stage behind Trump in full uniform. He told reporters at the event that he felt Trump was the best candidate in the field. But in a news conference the next day, presumably after Democratic Party officials gave him a pep talk, he backtracked, saying his appearance was a “huge mistake” and that he was merely curious about Trump’s support for law enforcement. Neil says the campaign asked him to attend the day before the event.