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Democrat Jessica Miranda appointed county auditor; will face Republican Tom Brinkman in November

jessica miranda
Courtesty of Jessica Miranda Campaign

State Rep. Jessica Miranda of Forest Park is the new Hamilton County auditor, replacing her friend Brigid Kelly, who died last month after a long battle with cancer.

Miranda, a Democrat, will face Republican Tom Brinkman Jr., one of her former colleagues in the Ohio House, in November's general election for the remaining two years of Kelly's term.

The new county auditor was chosen without opposition Saturday morning when hundreds of members of the Hamilton County Democratic Party gathered at the UAW Local 683 Hall in Evendale.

The party leaders were carrying out the wishes of Kelly, who said in her March resignation later that she wanted Miranda to take her place.

Miranda was sworn in as auditor at Saturday's meeting and has resigned from her seat as state representative in Ohio's 28th Ohio House District.

"I certainly did not want to leave the Ohio House but Brigid was such a good friend, someone so important to me, that when she told me she wanted me to be her replacement, I could not say no," Miranda told WVXU.

"It will truly be the greatest honor of my life trying to fill the shoes of such a wonderful public servant,'' Miranda said. "She is the one who taught me how to be an elected official – how to get things done and put the needs of people first."

Brinkman, who left the Ohio House in Jan. 2023, told WVXU Saturday that he agreed to move from the Hamilton County treasurer's race to the auditor's race at the request of the county GOP leadership.

"We have just seen the largest property tax increase in Hamilton County history," said the Mt. Lookout Republican. "We will have plenty to talk about in this campaign."

Miranda said a "lot of people in Hamilton County are hurting because of the new property valuations."

"But the county auditor has to follow the rules that the legislature passes," Miranda said. "And the rules were set by the Republican super-majority in Columbus. I will be reminding Mr. Brinkman that he spent nearly two decades in the House and did nothing to make those rules better."

Miranda, who was first elected to the 28th Ohio House District in 2018, resigned Wednesday from her leadership post in the Democratic caucus as House Minority Whip.

Miranda's job was handed over to State Rep. Dani Isaacsohn of Cincinnati, who is in his first term in the Ohio House.

That was a sure sign that Miranda is preparing to leave the Ohio House for appointment as county auditor.

Saturday's central committee began with Miranda presenting the Kelly family with two flags that had flown at half-staff over the Ohio Capitol in honor of the late auditor.

Howard Wilkinson is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.