Dusty Rhodes Announces He Will Not Seek Re-election
Longtime Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes announced Friday he would not seek reelection in 2022. Rhodes, a Democrat, has held the job for 32 years, and throughout has created controversy for the local party.
"I intend to serve out my term, which the voters elected me, which ends in March 2023," Rhodes wrote in a statement, where he detailed his achievements and his regrets.
Among them? "…Our failure to convince the State Legislature to give us the authority to conduct internal audits of county government and important consumer protection ability to test fuel quality along with the volume as well as closing the LLC loophole that allows real estate transactions to evade the transfer tax," he said.
Before he was elected county auditor, Rhodes spent 21 years as a Delhi Township trustee, a conservative Democrat elected in a township that was quickly turning Republican.
As auditor, he's done a lot of things that infuriated the Democratic party leadership, from tweets praising Donald Trump to endorsing Republican Bruce Hoffbauer for sheriff last year over Democrat Charmaine McGuffey (Hofffbauer lost).
In May, the Hamilton County Democratic Party's executive committee went on record as saying Rhodes was "not in good standing" with the party due to some of his tweets.
So why is he stepping aside now?
"I am making this announcement at this time to give potential candidates for this office plenty of time to organize their campaigns for next year," he wrote in his statement.
One candidate might be Democratic State Rep. Brigid Kelly - and Rhodes has nothing but good things to say about her.
"She is as honest as the day is long,'' Rhodes told WVXU's Senior Political Analyst Howard Wilkinson recently. "I think she would do a fine job as auditor."