Todd Portune's close victory over Commissioner Bob Bedinghaus might cause a small crack in the Republican Party's dominance over Hamilton County politics, but don't expect the wall to come tumbling down.
The GOP still swept the eight other county offices up for grabs on Nov. 7, three of which featured unopposed races. All eight judges on the county ballot were unopposed, with Republicans keeping their six seats and Democrats keeping their two.
The shape of Hamilton County government starting in 2001? Republicans occupy nine of the 11 county offices and 25 of the 28 judgeships elected countywide.
Portune's victory was historic, as he became the first Democrat elected commissioner since 1964. Bedinghaus was just the third Republican incumbent officeholder defeated in Hamilton County in the last 30 years.
Other results kept GOP winning streaks alive: Republicans have won every election for county prosecutor since 1932 and every election for treasurer, recorder and engineer since 1940.
Other trends were maintained this year as well. As pointed out in CityBeat's cover story on Republican dominance in Hamilton County ("GOP Kicks Ass," issue of Oct. 5-11), 80 percent of The Cincinnati Enquirer's endorsements in county races since 1970 went to Republicans and 90 percent went to incumbents. This fall, the morning paper was 6-for-6 in endorsing Republican incumbents in contested county races.
And, perhaps proving its obsolescence as the city's other daily newspaper — at least as a separate and distinct editorial voice — The Cincinnati Post's endorsements matched The Enquirer's on26 of 29 local, state and national races included in our pre-election endorsement charts (issue of Nov. 2-8). ©