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Jessica Brown,
Hamilton County reporter

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

UPDATED: New leader at GOP


Jessica Brown reports

The Hamilton County Republican Party has a new leader.
Former Chairman George Vincent turned over the job to Common Pleas Judge Alex Triantafilou during a GOP Central Committee meeting Tuesday.

Vincent in January was named managing partner of the prestigious Dinsmore & Shohl law firm. He said he simply will not be able to devote the necessary time to the party.

“To serve as party chairman in a presidential election year will take more time then I have to give,” he said.

So he said goodbye, received a standing ovation and handed off the leadership role – after a unanimous vote from the party – to Triantafilou, 36, of Green Township.

Triantafilou was thrilled to be “drafted” for the job. He said his heart is in politics and he feels he can do more good as party chairman than as judge.

“I have passion for politics,” he said. “It’s something I was frankly drafted to do and I’m excited about the challenge. It’s a challenging time to be a Republican.”

Triantafilou was referring to the Republicans losing Congress, state and local political offices in 2006 and the upcoming battle to retain the White House this year. Several local Republican-held offices are also up for election this year.

His goal: “Unite as a party and fight.” He wants “victory from the court house to the White House,” he said.

Triantafilou praised Vincent’s leadership and said his vision for the party is to “return us to our core vision of lower taxes, smaller government and public servants who are serving the public good,” he said.

Triantafilou would not address recent dissention within the local party, saying he is looking toward the future, not the past.

The party was criticized last fall by some of its own members for endorsing the jail tax. In several local Republican clubs, members were so split on the issue that the clubs offered alternate sample ballots to hand out at the polls omitting the sales tax endorsement. Some claimed the party leadership was straying from its core values.

Earlier this year, the party was criticized for a deal with the Democrats that left fewer choices on the November ballot. In the deal, Democrats agreed not to endorse a candidate to run against Republican Greg Hartmann, who is running for county commissioner. In return, Republicans agreed not to endorse a candidate against Democratic Commissioner Todd Portune who is running for re-election.

Vincent, who held the chairman job for 32 months, said there was never any real schism. He said party members “agree 95 percent of the time” and share the same core values.

Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman Tim Burke said he will miss Vincent. “I enjoyed working with him. He had a good sense of humor though he was wrong on his political views,” Burke said. Burke said he’s heard good things about Triantafilou and looks forward to getting to know him.

Triantafilou will immediately give up his role as $121,350-a-year judge. Ohio law prevents judges from being political party chairs. He will work as an attorney at Dinsmore & Shohl and will be paid a small undisclosed salary for his role as party chairman.

Triantafilou’s move means the Republicans may lose that judgeship seat, at least temporarily. However, Triatafilou’s seat is on the November ballot. So if they lose it, they can try to get it back through the election. In the immediate future, Triantafilou’s job will be filled by retired judge Thomas Nurre in a visiting judge capacity, said Hamilton County Court Administrator Mike Walton.

Then Governor Ted Strickland will select a replacement. Triantafilou was appointed to the common pleas seat by former Gov. Bob Taft after recommendation by the local GOP.

Since Strickland is a Democrat, most expect he will select a Democrat for the seat. However he recently created an Ohio Judicial Appointments Recommendation Panel to take some of the politics out of the process. Instead of Strickland picking from a pool of people recommended by the party, an open application process will occur and the panel will recommend three applicants to Strickland. The governor can pick one of the recommendations or ask for additional names.

Tim Burke, head of the Hamilton County Democratic Party, said he expects Norma Davis and Jerry Metz, both Democrats, to be considered for appointment to Triantafilou’s seat. Both Davis and Metz are already running for other judge seats in November. Davis is currently running against Republican Pat DeWine for the seat being vacated by retiring Common Pleas Judge David Davis. Metz, an attorney, is currently challenging Common Pleas Judge Fred Nelson for Nelson’s seat.

Because the Democrats did not have anyone on the ballot for Triantafilou’s seat during the Primary election, it is unclear whether the party will be allowed to put anyone on the ballot in November. Burke is researching the issue.

Reporter Sharon Coolidge contributed

Jessica Brown reports:

Hamilton County Republican Party chairman George Vincent is expected to pass the torch today to Common Pleas Judge Alex Triantafilou.

Vincent was named managing partner of the prestigious Dinsmore & Shohl law firm. A GOP Central Committee meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. today to name his successor. If Triantafilou, 36, of Green Township, accepts the position, he – and the party – will give up the Republican judgeship seat.

Governor Ted Strickland, a Democrat would name his immediate replacement on the bench. Strickland is likely to choose a Democrat. The judgeship will be on the ballot in November so the Republicans could try to win it back then. Today’s meeting takes place at the Hilton Netherland Plaza downtown.


at 10:43 AM, March 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone's wondering, it's pronounced "Alex".

at 11:08 AM, March 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coem back to the right side John Burlew!! You know you're a Dem, and Ted wants to home again, on the bench.

at 11:23 AM, March 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

What exactly is the "new" news in this story?

at 11:43 AM, March 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alex just needs to know how to pack boxes and turn in keys. The GOP is going out of business.

at 12:24 PM, March 11, 2008 Blogger Jeremy said...

thats so cute that there are still people who think there is a difference between the two parties.

simply adorable.

at 12:37 PM, March 11, 2008 Blogger Peggy said...

The Republican Party has picked the right person to fill Vince 's
position .
Also the Republican party diffently could win the judge seat back in the November elections .
Alex is a no non sense Judge who is fair to all who appear in his courtroom .

at 1:37 PM, March 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

After the Democrats try to run the country for a couple of years, the general public will wake up to the fact they are being fleeced.
Dems want wealth redistribution and hard working people will quickly get their fill of the free handouts to the lazy.
The Republicans will be set up for years to come as the backlash to Socialism (wealth redistribution) comes into reality.

at 1:38 PM, March 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

What??? Pat DeWine didn't want this spot, too???

at 1:57 PM, March 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am offended that the Enquirer suggests that the Governor will select a Democrat for this seat.

Governor Strickland has made it perfectly clear when he was running for office that all judicial appointments will be made according to a non-partisan panel of people to select the best person for the job.

To my knowledge, the Governor has NEVER failed to impanel this selection committee, and I have every faith and confidence in our Governor that he would never lie to us. Ever.

Well, there was that one time I know of in Montgomery County where he failed to impanel his selection committee so that he could appoint Mary Wiseman. Incidentally, she is Ohio's first openly lesbian judge.

I fully expect that he will impanel a properly educated and qualified individual to this seat, and it will not be based on sex, color or sexual preference.

Since it was a Republican seat before, if he were to give any preference, I'm sure he will favor a Republican for the position because that was the will of the voters before.

at 2:38 PM, March 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's right, 1:37.

In their last budget, the Dem majority made cuts that the Republicans were never willing to make over the years. They are the ones getting rid of the programs/fat that the GOP built up over 40 years in power.

at 5:10 PM, March 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who the hell cares which party a judge belongs to. Political affiliation is the absolute antithesis of a fair and even system.

at 8:24 PM, March 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought this was going to be about the Judge Alex that is on TV every day, but that picture looks nothing like him. Damn.

at 8:41 PM, March 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

That anyone could be serious in thinking Democrats are the champs at socialism and wealth redistribution is laughable. Look at what Bush just did in Africa. Socialists and communists infest both sides of the aisles in both houses of Congress. McCain is a neoconservative (a euphemism for a Trotskyite socialist) and Clinton and Obama are Marxist communists. Regardless of who is annointed, change IS coming.

Shame on the Hamilton County Republican Party for supporting socialists John McCain and Jean Schmidt rather than Ron Paul and Tom Brinkman, who are the true conservatives. Since George Vincent will be Alex Triantafilou's boss at Dinsmore & Shohl, I seriously doubt HCRP will behave any differently under Triantafilou than it did under Vincent.

And shame on the Enquirer, especially Peter Bronson, for its vilification of Ron Paul and its scant and misleading coverage of his campaign. It appears we have a second "reds" team in Cincinnati.

at 8:54 PM, March 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m sure a lot of Republicans’ will embrace the change in leadership as long as the fools from COAST are not involved.

It was COAST that divided this great party, and played right into the hands of the Democrats.

Thank you Judge Alex Triantafilou

at 9:29 PM, March 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was always so busy texting people whenever attys met with him in his chambers. Now I know why, busy guy!

at 10:39 PM, March 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Courts are losing a very fair jurist who was pro-community. Judge Triantifilou equally considered the merits of how the communities were aggrieved by the criminal element.

I believe he'll restore the Republican Party with honesty & prestige.

As for Norma Davis or whatever name she's using this week & that's the truth, we need her for a Judge like we need another hole in the head. Norma Holt Davis aka Norma J. Davis aka Norma H. Davis aka Norma J.H. Davis is a Burke sock puppet.

People conveniently forget that she was to head up the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission & weaseled out of the agreement at the last second.

Naw, she isn't Judge material in my book. Oh no.

at 10:52 PM, March 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judge John Burlew to the rescue!!

Tim Burke needs to get his head screwed on the threads & forget about these untested pawns he's putting up for Judge. They're only going to get smacked down.

It's Burlew to the rescue!!!!!!

at 11:19 PM, March 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anon 5:10 above -

I bet Governor Strickland cares.

at 10:25 AM, March 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Governor Strickland's so-called impartial committee is a HUGE joke. It is also ineffective. In some counties they have been waiting months for an appointment to take place.

at 12:50 PM, March 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nut cases like Anonymous 8:41 PM are the only ones supporting fringe candidate Ron Paul. That's why he gets in the neighbourhood of 1% of the vote in every primary.

This wacko thinks it's 1963 and the Commies are coming to get him.

BETTER DEAD THAN RED, eh loony? Please seek the mental help that you so desperately need.

at 1:49 PM, March 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big change... yet another Deter's wanna be. Everyone knows who is really running the Party. And, frankly, its getting very old. It's time for a more mature leader. Not another one who simply wants to go to another hack job in one year.

at 5:46 PM, March 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

36 years old? Good luck Alex!

at 10:03 PM, March 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come home John Burlew, back to the right side!! Call Ted.

at 10:33 AM, March 13, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The voters were right not to return John Burlew to the bench .
The manner in which he handled domestic violence cases .
Go home & take the abuse .
John is where he needs to be , off of the bench .

at 7:03 PM, March 13, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Burlew should, at least put his name in the hat...Judges should not be identified by party. They should administer the law... not the will of the political hacks who backed their elections.

at 10:31 AM, March 14, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judge Burlew has every right to put his name in the hat .
But as an informed voter we should take a couple of hours and listen to the comments of the Judges .
Like Burlews .
Lets move on , the sitting Judges
have a responsibility to treat all
people with dignity & respect .

at 11:54 PM, April 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burlew Is a Racist judge that was thankfully booted from being a judge!!!The Gop should revoke his membership and file charges of judical bias for past cases againist whites

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