Phew, y’all. For a minute there, we didn’t think we’d get through the 2017 mayoral race between Mayor John Cranley and Cincinnati City Councilwoman Yvette Simpson. The contest pitted two powerful intellects and personalities against each other in a knock-down, drag-out brawl over the future of the city. Never before has a hospital expansion been so charged and so debated, and never before have the minutiae of the city’s contracting policies been so interesting and pivotal. Simpson, branding herself as the more progressive candidate, took on an incumbent who presided over a period of rapid growth for Cincinnati. In the end, Cranley prevailed, but not before his challenger gave him the run of his life.