Democrats win all 9 Cincinnati Council seats, ousting Republican Liz Keating
All nine members of Cincinnati City Council will be Democrats next year, with the only non-incumbent candidate, Anna Albi, securing a spot this election.
Republican Liz Keating, also endorsed by the Charter Committee, came in tenth place, trailing Seth Walsh by about 3,700 votes with 100% of precincts reporting Tuesday night. Keating was not available for comment Tuesday.
Albi ranked seventh out of 10 candidates, coming ahead of incumbents Walsh and Jeff Cramerding. She says her relationship with the current council is strong after several months campaigning together.
"Even before starting campaigning, in my role as local lead for Moms Demand Action, I was working really closely with members of council and the mayor around gun safety precautions here in the city," Albi said, adding she already has plans on more action the city can take to reduce gun violence.
This is Walsh's first election win. He was appointed to council in late 2022 to replace now-Congressman Greg Landsman. Walsh says he's learned a lot over the past year in office.
"I've been meeting with some of these neighborhoods that have been overlooked and really listening to them about their own experiences of why they feel overlooked," Walsh said. "So those are my priorities as we look into the next couple of years, is taking [my] experience and making sure no neighborhood feels left behind."
With only 10 candidates on the ballot for nine seats, it was the smallest pool in a Cincinnati City Council race in at least three decades.
Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney won the most votes with 49,033; Meeka Owens ranked a very close second with just 208 fewer votes, and Reggie Harris just 382 votes behind Owens.
Victoria Parks ranked fourth with 45,490 votes, followed by Scotty Johnson (44,899), Mark Jeffreys (44,544), Albi (43,973), Cramerding (41,983), and Walsh (39,950). Keating got 36,176 votes.
See how each candidate responded to WVXU's pre-election survey.
Results are unofficial until certified by the Hamilton County Board of Elections. You can see an interactive version of the unofficial results on the BOE website here.
Winners will take office in early January and serve a two-year term.
Meet your council members
Anna Albi (31, Madisonville)
This is Albi's first elected office. She was the only non-incumbent in the council race this year, and was one of nine candidates endorsed by the Democratic Party.
Provided bio: Anna (she/her) is a gun violence prevention and community safety advocate. As local group lead for Moms Demand Action in Cincinnati, Anna works with elected officials, law enforcement, and community partners to promote gun safety and reduce gun violence. Anna also serves as recording secretary for Madisonville Community Council and serves as a Ward Chair and Precinct Executive for the Hamilton County Democratic Party. She is also a graduate of LEAD Ohio and a 2023 fellow for the New Leaders Council for Southwest Ohio. Anna grew up in Anderson Township, the daughter of a small business owner and public defender and the sister of two U.S. Marines. Anna earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Carnegie Mellon University and works as a Senior Strategic Communication Consultant as her day job.
Jeff Cramerding (50, Price Hill)
First elected to Cincinnati City Council in 2021. He started serving as chair of the Equitable Growth and Housing Committee about a year into his term.
Provided bio: Jeff Cramerding began his civic activism in his neighborhood of Price Hill. He was an officer with the Price Hill community council and a founding board member of Price Hill Will. He is a one-term council member and was selected by Mayor Aftab [Pureval] to chair the Housing and Equitable Development Committee. Cramerding has been a consistent advocate of fiscal responsibility and the need to address the city's critical failing infrastructure.
Reggie Harris (41, Northside)
First elected to Cincinnati City Council in 2021, Harris served as chair of the Equitable Growth and Housing Committee for the first year of his term, then switched to chairing Budget and Finance when former Council Member Greg Landsman was elected to Congress.
Provided bio: Since his election to City Council in 2021, Reggie Harris has consistently fought and delivered for inclusive, effective legislation that broadens accessibility to opportunity, and improves the quality of life for ALL Cincinnati residents. He draws on his background as a retired professional ballet dancer, affordable housing developer, LGBTQIA+ advocate, licensed therapist, and trained clinical social worker to serve his community. Reggie knows our best days are ahead and dreams of a future in which Cincinnati is a beacon of hope for sustainability, inclusivity, and opportunity in the Midwest — both for those who grew up here and those who settle here.
Mark Jeffreys (54, Clifton)
Jeffreys was first elected to Cincinnati City Council in 2021.
Provided bio: Mark is a first-term member of City Council. Mark's focus is on making Cincinnati safer, cleaner and greener. Mark has been a champion on pedestrian safety, but also investing in public safety. Mark is launching a Quality of Life Working Group in partnership with community councils to address quality of life issues such as litter. As an advocate for public transit and active transportation such as trails, Mark believes that "green" is not just about adding more greenspace, but also about ensuring we redesign our streets for people, which means cleaner air and more vibrant neighborhoods.
First elected to Cincinnati City Council in 2021, Johnson is a former Cincinnati Police officer and is chair of the Public Safety and Governance Committee.
Johnson did not provide a requested bio and did not respond to multiple requests to fill out the WVXU election survey.
Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney (67, Avondale/North Avondale)
Kearney was first appointed to Cincinnati City Council in 2020 to fill the seat vacated by Tamaya Dennard, and was elected in 2021. Kearney is chair of the Healthy Neighborhoods Committee and has served as vice mayor since January 2022.
Provided bio: Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney was born in Cincinnati and is a proud graduate of Cincinnati Public Schools. She graduated from Dartmouth College and did an exchange program at Talladega College, an HBCU. She earned her masters degree in psychology from Harvard University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She owns the multi-media publishing company Sesh Communications and the award-winning The Cincinnati Herald newspaper. She was appointed to Cincinnati City Council in 2020, and elected in November 2021. Mayor Pureval appointed Jan-Michele Vice Mayor, chair of the Healthy Neighborhoods Committee, and vice chair of Public Safety and Governance. She has volunteered with many organizations including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., The Cincinnati Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, NAACP, and the Via and the Cincinnati Zoo boards. She is married to former Ohio State Senator Eric H. Kearney. They are blessed with two children, Celeste and Asher.
Meeka Owens (45, Avondale)
Owens was first elected to Cincinnati City Council in 2021. She is chair of the Climate, Environment, and Infrastructure Committee.
Provided bio: I was born and raised in Avondale, built my life here, and raised my family here. I am running for reelection because the work is unfinished. I hit the ground running on Day One, chairing the Climate, Environment, & Infrastructure committee, investing $4 million into the Green Cincinnati Plan, and declaring gun violence a public health crisis. Centering equity at City Hall is my goal — from the CEI Committee, to my voice on Budget & Finance, or the Equitable Growth and Housing Committee. I ran for office because young women who look like me, who spend time on the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority waitlist for subsidized housing deserve to see themselves in leadership.
Victoria Parks (65, College Hill)
Parks was first elected to Cincinnati City Council in 2021. She is president pro tem of Council.
Provided bio: Councilmember Parks' first role in public office was as a Hamilton County Commissioner in 2020, appointed to replace Todd Portune after she served as his Chief of Staff. Since being elected to Council she has worked to support the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and hosted Girls in Government Day, which encourages young women to pursue a career in public service. Councilmember Parks served in the U.S. Air Force and is currently the executive director of the nonprofit West College Hill Neighborhood Services.
Seth Walsh (32, Clifton)
Walsh was first appointed to Cincinnati City Council in late 2022 to fill the seat vacated by Greg Landsman, who resigned after being elected to Congress.
Provided bio: A native of St. Joseph, Michigan, Seth moved to Cincinnati to attend Xavier University. Seth has worked for members of Cincinnati City Council before leaving to work with the CDC Association as their Associate Director and helping start up the Sedamsville CDC as their Executive Director. Seth left both roles to take on the role of Executive Director of the College Hill CURC in 2016. Seth was the founder of the Cincy Soccer League — the only United States Soccer Federation-affiliated adult soccer league in Cincinnati — and serves on the Board of Directors for the Friends of the Taft Family Legacy.