Pepper vs. Heimlich!
Kimball Perry and Howard Wilkinson report:
David Pepper will send a Valentine's Card today to friends and supporters who have been urging him to run against county commissioner Phil Heimlich.
It's an e-mail saying he accepts their proposal.
Pepper's e-mail will go out Tuesday morning; in it he says he will run against the "failed leadership'' of Heimlich and the Republicans.
He cites the stalemate over The Banks development project and the FBI investigation of the county's Department of Jobs and Family Services as his proof that change is needed.
Pepper, who lost the mayor's race to Mark Mallory last fall with 48 percent of the vote, had been tugged in two directions for the past couple of weeks - with local supporters and Democratic leaders urging him to take on Heimlich and Ohio Democratic Party officials trying to nudge him into the Ohio Attorney General's race.
The locals won the tug-of-war, and Pepper, a Democrat, will take on Heimlich.
Bring it on, Heimlich dared.
"There is nothing more that I could ask for in my political life than the opportunity to contrast my limited government, lower taxes and forward progress in Hamilton County against the failed policies of higher taxes, higher spending and a downward spiral David Pepper brought to city hall," Heimlich said.
Pepper was a Cincinnati Council Member but lost in the mayoral race to Mark Mallory.
The board of commissioners hasn't had a Democratic majority since 1960-62 when Edward Tepe and Vincent Beckman were on the board.
Todd Portune is the lone Democrat on the board now. Heimlich is joined on the board by fellow Republican Pat DeWine. Heimlich's first four-year term ends at the end of the year.
Heimlich was a lieutenant governor candidate on the slate with Jim Petro, Ohio's Attorney General who is running for governor. Heimlich pulled out last month, saying he wants to complete his business as commissioner.
The filing deadline for the May primary is Thursday.