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Ready for the 2023 Cincinnati Council election? The city's ethics office is

Entrance to Council Chambers in Cincinnati City Hall.
Becca Costello

Thirteen people are already collecting signatures to run for a seat on Cincinnati Council. It will be the first election since council established new rules to prohibit some campaign donations.

Sitting council members and the mayor cannot accept a donation from someone with active business before council, like a development deal.

"The City Business Lists [and] the Temporary Prohibition List are updated every Wednesday — we publish that online for the public and for the members of council, the elected officials, to look at and adjust for accordingly," said Chris Liu, director of the city's Office of Ethics and Good Government. "We're proactively reviewing matters for potential conflicts of interest in a way that we haven't really been doing before."

The rule went into effect about ten months ago and council voted last week to expand it to include some high-value easements.

It only applies to council members running for re-election, not other candidates in the race.

Six of the nine current council members have pulled petitions to get on the November ballot:

  • Reggie Harris
  • Liz Keating
  • Mark Jeffreys
  • Meeka Owens
  • Scotty Johnson
  • Seth Walsh

Seven others are also collecting signatures to get on the ballot:

  • Catherine Ruth Botos
  • Lakeisha Cook
  • Sharetha Collier
  • Andrew Kennedy
  • Linda Matthew
  • Boyd T. Miller
  • Stephan Pryor

Liu's position was created in response to the three arrests of council members a couple years ago. He says implementing other aspects of council's anti-corruption measures has been going smoothly, including the expansion of an existing Fraud, Waste, and Abuse hotline to include general ethics questions as well.
"We're making it a point to tell all of our city employees that this is a resource they have so they know about it and they can use it," Liu said. "I think that's probably driving some of the additional usage that we're seeing this year."

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.