Board of Elections Certifies Six — Potentially Eight — Candidates in Cincinnati's Mayoral Race

The board will meet next week to review evidence from two candidates who were told that they had not met the filing requirements.

Mar 4, 2021 at 12:19 pm
City Hall - Photo: Jesse Fox
Photo: Jesse Fox
City Hall

The Hamilton County Board of Elections has certified petitions for six candidates who hope to become Cincinnati’s next mayor.

The BOE met Tuesday to certify the candidates’ petitions and valid signatures that are required to appear on the ballot.

The six candidates are startup founder Gavi Begtrup, Cincinnati City Council member David Mann, educator Herman J. Najoli, retired Cincinnati firefighter Raffel Prophett, Hamilton County clerk of courts Aftab Pureval, and State Sen. Cecil Thomas.

All are Democrats except for Najoli, who is an Independent.

As CityBeat previously reported, the BOE did not certify petitions from startup founder Adam Koehler, occupational therapist Kelli Prather and Cincinnati City Council member Wendell Young, saying that they did not submit the required 500 valid signatures.

Koehler and Prather disputed the board’s findings and on Tuesday presented evidence that they said supported their claims. Prather claimed that over three separate submissions, she had offered a total of about 3,000 signatures.

Koehler and Prather indicated that they will submit their formal challenges by March 5, the BOE’s deadline. The board then will review the challenges and evidence and will vote on Koehler’s and Prather’s potential candidacy next week.

Young has not challenged the board.

Just before the Feb. 18 filing deadline, federally indicted former Cincinnati City Council member P.G. Sittenfeld and current council member Chris Seelbach withdrew from the race. Current vice mayor Chris Smitherman also declared that he would not enter the race to become mayor, as reported by WLWT-TV.

The Cincinnati mayoral election is scheduled for Nov. 2. It will be between the top two vote-getters from the May 4 primary. Current mayor John Cranley has served since 2013 and will not run again due to term limits.

Find election information on the Hamilton County website.