Trouble in "deal" paradise?
UPDATE: Read Jessica Brown's story in this morning's Enquirer here.
Could a deal between the Democratic and Republican parties be falling through?
As first noted on Citybeat's "Porkopolis" blog, there is speculation that the Democratic Party may indeed endorse a candidate in the Hamilton County Commission race – against the wishes of its chairman, Timothy Burke.
“Let me make it very clear. I would oppose any endorsement at this point,” said Burke. "But if you’re asking if I have veto power, I don’t have any veto power."
There are rumblings that the party’s 197 member central committee (the governing body of the party), may be asked at their April 21 meeting to endorse Crosby Township Trustee Chris Dole to run against Republican-endorsed Greg Hartmann for the commission seat being vacated by Republican commissioner Pat DeWine.
Dole threw his name in the ring as an independent after Burke and then-Republican Party Chairman George Vincent agreed on a deal in which the Democrats wouldn’t run anyone against Hartmann, who currently is the county's Clerk of Courts.
In exchange the Republicans agreed not to run anyone against Democratic commissioner Todd Portune. (Hyde Park realtor Ed Rothenberg is running against Portune as a Republican, but the party has so far declined to endorse him.)
Burke said he doesn’t know of any immediate plans for a Democratic endorsement of Dole. But it's no secret that some people didn't agree with the deal.
“Someone may try to force a vote at the central committee meeting by putting a motion” on the floor, Burke said.
Dole said he plans to try to get the Democratic endorsement. He's not on the central committee, but he too believes someone will present a motion, though he wouldn’t name names. And he thinks if a motion is made, he’d have enough support in the central committee.
Burke said his stance against an endorsement is not personal. He admitted that Dole’s a respected trustee and has shown himself to be a motivated candidate.
“I give the guy a lot of credit,” Burke said of Dole’s ability to get the thousands of signatures needed to get on the ballot. “He’s a decent guy. But for better or worse, we made – I made – a commitment on behalf of the party not to endorse a candidate in the race. I believe it’s for the better. I am sticking with that position.”