I am extremely disappointed that Chris Smitherman was elected to City Council, but I am not concerned with him actually having any significant influence on the direction of the city. I lack that concern because of the seven Democrats now on council along with the Mayor in solid control of the government. All we citizens are going to have to do is put up with his antics. I'm wondering what he will do for his first performance. I'm hoping for a little David Mamet.
Anyway...How did Chris get back on Council? I think the answer is quite simple, but there are two parts.
1) His name recognition as a former Councilman and as local NAACP Chairman got him votes on a low/moderate level across the city. He never placed below 18th in any ward, and only was that low on the East Side.
2) The main reason was the turnout of African American voters. Specifically in Ward 7 (Bond Hill/Roselawn) where Smitherman was 1st, with over 3,700 votes. Ward 7's turnout was 42.43% up 6.33% from 2009.
His COAST endorsement I am going to say was meaningless. If he gained any votes from it, then he likely lost just as many, if not more. The higher turnout was the main factor. He still barely got on, placing a very weak 8th, so when the Mayoral election rolls around, he may face trouble with more conservatives voting if there is actually a contended race.
I honestly hope Smitherman behaves. If that sounds likes I am considering him childlike, well, I do. His track record is not good on this front and I fear he will take grandstanding or school yard threats to new heights, since that is all he will be able to do. He won't actually introduce meaningful legislation, because he can't get it passed without cooperation from others. Since his not known for playing well with others some level of circus is ahead for Cincinnati City Council. I hope it is only a one ring circus and not three.