Mayoral candidate David Pepper answers a question at Tuesday's WCET debate, as Sylvan Grisco reviews his notes.
State Sen. Mark L. Mallory
started it off with a press release 82 minutes after the WCET debate
ended. "Mark Mallory Wins First Televised Mayoral Debate" was the headline.David Pepper's
campaign manager, Greg Landsman,
sent an e-mail to supporters the next day, claiming Pepper was the victor. "David showed energetic, visionary leadership, and proved that he understands we need change. Unfortunately, Mr. Mallory and Mr. Winburn continued to attack David, spending the better part of the evening engaged in the blame game."
Unlike presidential debates, there were no giant "spin rooms" where campaign partisans tried to doctor the pundits. In fact, WCET banned other television media from its studios. So the campaigns -- some without need for prompting, some at the request of The Cincinnati Enquirer
-- sent their spin via e-mail.
Here are excerpts from the post-debate statements of the top five mayoral campaigns (in order received):
Mallory: "At a televised debate tonight, Ohio Senator Mark Mallory continued to gain momentum in his campaign for Cincinnati Mayor by standing out as the only major Democrat running who is not part of the mess at City Hall. Mallory distanced himself from City Council Members David Pepper and Alicia Reece
during his remarks at today's debate broadcast live on CET. ... Mallory laid the blame for Cincinnati's problems at the feet of squabbling leaders at City Hall. 'The plain truth is this: Our leaders at City Hall have failed,' Mallory stated. 'They've failed our families; they've failed our children; they've failed our seniors; they've failed our neighborhoods.'" (Mallory campaign news release.)Charlie Winburn:
"Winburn spoke with experience at the forum last night. As a father and husband he knows the importance of ensuring the safety of one's family. And as the only FOP-endorsed candidate, he is the only option to bring law and order back to Cincinnati." (E-mail statement from Hamilton County GOP political director Maggie Nafziger.
) Justin P. Jeffre:
"I won last night's debate because I am turning people on to the process while the career politicians are turning them off with politics-as-usual rhetoric. ... I won because I've set an example and sounded the call for an engaged citizen solution revolution. I have no strings attached and my only interest is empowering the people of Cincinnati and building our sense of community and a brighter future." (E-mail from candidate.)
Pepper: "What matters most is who the viewers and voters think won the debate, and who they think can lead our city forward. Not more candidate grandstanding. ... The last thing Cincinnatians want is the status quo politics of grandstanding, passing the buck, and blaming others for personal gain. Mr. Mallory and Mr. Winburn did win that competition, spending the better part of the evening engaged in the blame game. These are two men who've been in elected leadership positions far longer than others in the race. ..." (E-mail statement from campaign spokeswoman Anne Sesler.
) Reece: "While two of her opponents Mallory and Winburn focused on recycling old ideas like a Safety Director and ideas that will raise taxes on the citizens, Vice Mayor Alicia Reece showed that she was not only knowledgeable about the issues but that she has a progressive agenda to move the city forward. ... In her closing statement Vice Mayor Alicia Reece, hit her opponents the hardest with the leadership litmus test, where she reminded the citizens that when Cincinnati was at its lowest point and need leadership the most, all of her opponents were ... MISSING IN ACTION!" (Formal Reece campaign statement.)
(Lead photo by Jeff Swinger/The Cincinnati Enquirer)