City Beat: Cecil Thomas for Ohio State Senator

Republican Councilman Charlie Winburn wants to represent Ohio’s 9th District, which encompasses most of Cincinnati and leans 70 percent Democratic.

Republican Councilman Charlie Winburn wants to represent Ohio’s 9th District, which encompasses most of Cincinnati and leans 70 percent Democratic. Just one problem — Winburn is a staunch fiscal conservative who opposes same-sex marriage and has in the past made some pretty definitive statements about his anti-abortion beliefs. He has since walked back on those statements a bit, signaling that he might not vote for further abortion restrictions. Winburn’s latest move is pushing a City Council ordinance that would allow for expungement of some convictions handed out under Cincinnati’s now-overturned marijuana ordinance. It’s a worthy cause, hopefully helping those with drug offenses on their records for small amounts of marijuana move on with their lives. But it doesn’t mean Winburn will be a good, or representative, state Senator. And it’s hard to take him seriously when his main argument for why he should be in office is that he’s a Republican and most of the rest of the state Senate is as well.

Democratic former Councilman Cecil Thomas has played a similar game, “evolving” on pro-choice issues. He has even come out for same-sex marriage, something he once opposed. He’s got some baggage, too — he pushed the aforementioned weed ordinance when he was on Council in 2006.

But he also voted to get rid of the law in 2011, admitting it was a mistake. Further, Thomas backs some good ideas for Ohio’s working class, including a minimum wage boost. When you add it all up, he’s the best bet for the 8th District.

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