Alicia Reece has been named the new president of the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners.
2022 Hamilton County Commission president Stephanie Summerow Dumas passed the gavel to Reece on Jan. 5 after a unanimous board vote. Reece will serve as president for one year, according to the Ohio Revised Code.
“This gavel has taken on a life of its own. That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing today. Leadership changes,” Dumas said during the ceremony.
Reece, a Democrat, is the first woman and African American to win city, state and county races in Hamilton County. She’s served as the Cincinnati vice mayor, state representative and as a Cincinnati city council member. She was elected to the Hamilton County Commission in November 2020 to fill the seat previously held by the late Todd Portune.
“My journey to get here, I had to come through a pandemic we had never seen before. The primary was shut down. We had to vote by mail and many people didn’t know how to do that. We had to find a dropbox that many people didn’t know existed,” Reece told a packed room of supporters.
Reece said she wants to change the perception of Southwest Ohio on the state level.
“Our goal is to be the number one county in America,” Reece said. “When you go to the Statehouse it’s very difficult when you’re from Southwest Ohio, I’ve been there, they kind of want to put us last.”
Going forward, Reece said she wants to improve communications coming from the county.
“My background is in marketing, you’re going to know what Hamilton County is doing,” Reece said. “We’re going to come with a new rebrand. We’re going to get our stuff out more. We’re going to make sure you’re connected and know about things.”
Dumas was re-elected to the commission in November 2022, and Denise Driehaus will ascend as the commission’s vice president. Driehaus said the board as undergone a transformation since she was elected in 2016.
“I joined the board in 2017, [and] it was a very different look,” Driehaus said. “The transformation of this commission to what you see here today is historic, it’s significant, it is responsive to what people in this community want.”
Reece will hold the State of the County address at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 31 at Memorial Hall in Over-the-Rhine.
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