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Monzel Reflects On Election Loss, Looks Forward

Bill Rinehart
Chris Monzel talks to reporters after his election loss to Stephanie Dumas.

Chris Monzel says he wants to return to public service someday, but first, he has some projects that need finishing around the house. Monzel lost his seat on the Hamilton County commission to Democratic challenger Stephanie Summerow Dumas by about 8,400 votes in Tuesday's general election.

Monzel says there's a lot of "Monday morning quarterbacking" going on as his team and Republicans try to figure out if he could have done anything in his campaign differently.

"I've coached a lot of my kids' teams - baseball, basketball," he says. "There's something that you tell them: Leave it on the field, leave it on the court. You do everything you possibly can. Sometimes you're not going to win. But as long as you give your best effort and try your hardest, that's all that matters." 

The Republican Monzel was first elected to the board in 2010, after serving on Cincinnati Council.

He says he wants to someday return to public service but, "I think it's going to be a great time to refocus with my family and do a lot with them that I really haven't been able to for the last couple of months."

Monzel says if he does re-enter politics, it will be tougher to be a Republican in Hamilton County, given local Democratic gains in this election.

For the last two years, Monzel was the lone Republican on the commission. He says he was proud to be a voice for fiscal conservatism, and is concerned about the make-up of the board going forward. "Is somebody going to be standing up there and giving alternatives, coming up with different ideas?" he asks. "Or is it going to be a 3-0 vote that raises taxes automatically. To me, that's something that's definitely concerning." 

His successor, Stephanie Dumas, says she will not be a rubber stamp for Democrats. "I'm not going to step back or back down when I think there's an issue that the residents of the county could benefit from. I need to speak up. At the same time, I'll be collaborative and be a team player, but I'm not going to be a 'yes' person either," she told WVXU Tuesday night.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.