Meet the 36 people who want to fill Greg Landsman's seat on Cincinnati City Council
Nearly 40 people have applied to fill a vacancy on Cincinnati Council ahead of Greg Landsman's upcoming resignation so he can join Congress.
Council Member Reggie Harris designed the application process and he alone will decide who the ninth council member should be. (Landsman has designated Harris as his "successor designee," but until last week had named all seven other Democrats for that job.)
The new council member will serve the rest of Landsman's term through the end of 2023, but Harris and the other seven Democrats on Council are keen to see someone who can win next year's election for another two-year term.
Click here to jump to the full list of applicants.
"The applicants are diverse, and cover a wide range of professions — social workers, doctors, Ph.d.s, lawyers, transit professionals, teachers, business owners, nonprofit leaders, hospitality professionals, community activists, union workers, students, former elected officials and community council presidents and vice presidents," Harris told Council's Public Safety and Governance Committee Tuesday.
Harris says he personally called 20 to 30 people asking them to apply.
"I would say of the 37 applications, half of those submitted what I felt were really thoughtful and informative answers, that gave me insights into their thinking and their values and the priorities," Harris said. "I think [for] the other half the questions were vague, and they kind of phoned it in a bit."
The list includes four names considered front-runners prior to the announcement of this new application process: Alyson Beridon, Jaime Castle, Jackie Frondorf, and Seth Walsh.
Another notable candidate is Evan Nolan, who worked as Treasurer for Aftab Pureval's campaigns for Hamilton County clerk of courts, U.S. House of Representatives, and mayor. Their professional relationship dates back at least seven years. Nolan joined Mayor Pureval's administration this past April, working as chief counsel for special projects and policy initiatives. A city spokesperson confirmed Nolan resigned his position prior to applying for the open council seat; his last day was Nov. 27.
The mayor has no formal involvement in choosing the person to fill a council vacancy; the process is laid out in the city charter. Harris says Pureval, as well as Landsman, declined to offer feedback on specific candidates.
Several people gave public comment Tuesday morning advocating for the appointment of Michelle Dillingham to the open seat. Dillingham ran for council in the last three elections, coming in 10th place in 2021 and 2017, and 12th place in 2013.
Harris originally planned to announce the final choice the week of Dec. 5, but said Tuesday that's been delayed to the week of Dec. 12. He says he'll meet with each council member individually to get feedback on the candidates, then narrow down the list of applicants for interviews.
Nine people have pulled petitions to run for Cincinnati Council in 2023 for the term beginning in 2024: current council members Reggie Harris, Mark Jeffreys, Liz Keating, and Meeka Owens; as well as Andrew Kennedy, Linda Matthew, Boyd T. Miller, Stephan Pryor, and Seth Walsh.
Full list of applicants:
Scroll down to see each candidate's cover letter, resume, and answers to application questions.
Bill Froehle (withdrew application)
Antonio M. Sanders Jr.
Jenelle M. Sampson
William Hammond (withdrew application)
Catherine "Kate" Botos
See each candidate's cover letter and resume below (story continues after):
Seven people submitted the application but did not follow up with the required resume and cover letter:
- Elizabeth David
- Jeffrey Jenkins
- Jason Riveiro
- John Thomas
- Jonathan Williams
- Mark Fritz
- Laura LaPrade Stark
Here are the questions each applicant answered: