Uncontested local elections a growing norm in Butler County

Published: Sunday, August 13, 2017 @ 11:20 AM


            There are fewer local races to decide by voters this local-year election than in past local elections years. FILE PHOTO
There are fewer local races to decide by voters this local-year election than in past local elections years. FILE PHOTO

There are 23 potential contested local races in Butler County this November, pending certification of candidates later this month. A nearly 10-race decline from the 2009 local election year.

The downward trend of contested national and local races have been evident in the past several years, said University of Cincinnati political science professor David Niven.

RELATED: Butler County shaping up to have fewer contested races in November

Content Continues Below

“The frightening part is it’s a pretty difficult hurdle for democracy,” Niven said of the lack of contested races.

The question of how to make elections more competitive has been asked year after year, and some of that involves voter apathy.

A Pew Research Center study in 2006 indicated politicians and political experts had “concern” over the lack of competitiveness in U.S. elections, but that concern was not shared by the public. Some experts believe the lack of political competition is due to low voter turnout.

Voter turnout in local elections in Butler County typically is sub-30 percent unless there’s a statewide issue — which there are two this year — driving turnout.

Wednesday was the filing deadline for local races within the county, except for Hamilton mayor and Hamilton and Middletown city councils, which have an Aug. 24 filing deadline. Candidates yet to be certified will have their petitions reviewed and the board of elections will vote to certify candidates for November’s ballot on Aug. 21. The Hamilton and Middletown city council races will be certified at the Aug. 28 board meeting.

RELATED: Democrats have plan to make Butler County blue again

In this election cycle, the local election following a presidential election, there are just more than 40 Butler County offices to be elected.

There’s been a steady decline in contested local elections since 2009. In 2009, there were 31 contested races out of 61 total offices up for election.

Niven said there are really two ways to look at the lack of contested races: either there was no one upset enough to run, or people feel they can’t win so why bother.

The latter school of thought, he said, especially at the local level, is pretty far from the truth but that’s not an uncommon thought.

“A lot of folks have no idea how easy it is to get on the ballot and to win one of these races,” Niven said. “The number one that keeps people from running is they are of the conclusion that they couldn’t possibly win.”

RELATED: Hamilton term limits and wards: Petitioners short on signatures

So when voters show up at the polls, or vote early at home or at the board of elections, and sees no competition, the choice is being taken out of the voters’ hands and that can be frustrating, Niven said. It’s also “worrisome because it means there can’t be a healthy debate because there’s no one to have it,” he said.

Miami University Regionals political science professor John Forren, who pays close attention to local politics, says seeing 50 percent of local races contested may not necessarily be a decline in local democracy.

Depending on which races are being contested, there may be more choice than the numbers show.

“In a place like Butler County, which has been difficult terrain for Democrats for decades, I’d say that the idea that half of the races are going to be contested is actually a sign of increasing competition rather than a sign of decline,” he said.

Forren said it’s a sign of a healthy democracy when there are contested races because competition between candidates means the voters will more often have a real choice when it comes to who will govern “and by extension, what policies will be carried out by government.”

Trending - Most Read Stories

More than 1,000 still without power in Clinton County

Published: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 9:01 PM
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 2:13 AM

Troy power line fire

UPDATE @ 2:13 a.m. (July 16): An estimated 1,154 Dayton Power & Light customers are still without power, according to the utility’s online outage map.

We’re working to find out what caused the outage, which has persisted through Sunday evening.

UPDATE @ 10:35 p.m.:

Content Continues Below

DP&L was reporting 1,186 outages, 1,176 of which were in Clinton. Other scattered outages were reported in Logan, Miami (1 each) and in Montgomery (8).

FIRST REPORT:

Thousands of Dayton Power & Light customers are without power this evening.

As of 8:48 p.m., 2,226 are without power in Miami and Clinton counties. 

The following numbers were reported:

  • Clinton: 1,529
  • Miami: 690
  • Montgomery: 6
  • Logan: 1

A Miami County viewer sent WHIO-TV video purporting to show a power line on fire in Troy. 

Nick Kleiner said he was walking along Shaftsburry about 8:30 p.m. when he noticed the power line on fire. It only lasted about five minutes, he said, and ended when an end piece of the line broke off.

Kleiner said it didn’t seem like a lot of damage was done. 

Whether a DP&L crew was dispatched was not certain.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Prince Louis christened: Prince George, Princess Charlotte join royal family at ceremony

Published: Monday, July 09, 2018 @ 7:58 AM
Updated: Monday, July 09, 2018 @ 1:40 PM

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge carries Prince Louis as they arrive for his christening service at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London, Monday, July 9, 2018. (Dominic Lipinski/Pool Photo via AP)
Dominic Lipinski/AP
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge carries Prince Louis as they arrive for his christening service at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London, Monday, July 9, 2018. (Dominic Lipinski/Pool Photo via AP)(Dominic Lipinski/AP)

The world got its latest, long-awaited glimpse of the newest member of the House of Windsor as Prince Louis was christened Monday, 11 weeks after his birth.

The service was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s two other children. It was the first time all five members of the young royal family have been seen together, the BBC reported

Also in attendance were Prince William’s father and his wife, Prince Charles and Camilla.

Content Continues Below

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, were at the ceremony along with Kate’s sister Pippa; her husband, James Matthews; and their brother, James Middleton.

Prince Louis was christened at Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace, baptized by the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, Metro reported.

But two people were missing from the ceremony. Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh decided not to attend, according to Metro.

The queen has an extensive schedule this week. She travels back to Windsor Palace from Norfolk Monday, then will have a ceremony to mark the anniversary of the creation of the Royal Air Force Tuesday and has a meeting with President Donald Trump Friday, Metro reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Hours before the ceremony, Kensington Palace announced whom the couple named as Prince Louis’ godparents.

 

He now has three godfathers and three godmothers.

Harry Aubrey-Gletcher went to Eton with Prince William, The Telegraph reported. Nicholas Van Cutsem is a family friend. His daughter was a bridesmaid at their wedding, The Telegraph reported. The final godfather is Guy Pelly, who founded nightclubs and was friends with both William and Prince Harry during their single years, ITV reported.

As for the godmothers, the family named Lady Laura Meade, who is married to James Meade, a friend of Prince William and who is Princess Charlotte’s godfather; Hannah Gillingham, a friend of the Duchess; and Lucy Middleton, Duchess Katherine’s cousin, The Telegraph reported.

Prince Louis wore the same christening gown used for George and Charlotte, which is a copy of the lace and satin dress made for Queen Victoria’s daughter in 1841, Daily Mail reported.

Royal Family Welcomes Prince Louis Arthur Charles

Trending - Most Read Stories

CVS apologizes after white manager called police on black woman using coupon

Published: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 8:51 PM

File photo. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

CVS has apologized to a black woman and is investigating an incident in which a white manager called police on her after she tried to use a coupon at a Chicago store on Friday.

>> Read more trending news

Camilla Hudson, 53, who said her Facebook post detailing the incident was removed for unspecified reasons by the social media site, also shared video on Twitter of her interaction with the CVS manager who claimed she had forged a coupon.

Content Continues Below

Hudson said she shared her experience after other recent stories where police were called by white people because of minor or perceived infractions by black people.

“I was not yelling, I did not raise my voice, I did not use profanity, I did not call anyone outside of their name -- other than not accepting, basically, ‘Screw you,’ that was my offense, if you will,” Hudson told Block Club Chicago. “As a woman, as a black woman, as a native Chicagoan, I’m just tired of it. I’m tired of it.”

Police were called to the store for an assault in progress, according to Block Club Chicago. Hudson was told by police she had to leave or else it would be considered trespassing.

“They were not awful,” Hudson told Block Club Chicago regarding the interaction with police. “I explained to them what had happened and how it had happened, and they said, ‘When we get these calls we do have to respond … (but) you’re going to have to leave,’ and I said, ‘Why do I have to leave? I’m a customer here.’”

CVS reached out to Hudson Saturday as her post went viral.

“Our Region Director in Chicago contacted Ms. Hudson as soon as we were made aware of this incident,” CVS said in a statement, according to Block Club Chicago. “CVS has begun an investigation and we will take any corrective action that is warranted to prevent it from happening again. CVS Pharmacy does not tolerate any practices that discriminate against any customer and we are committed to maintaining a welcoming and diverse environment in our stores.”

Trending - Most Read Stories

Man succeeds in campaign to bring ‘Trump baby balloon’ to U.S.

Published: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 10:48 PM

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JULY 14:  Workers tend to The Baby Trump Balloon while the U.S. President is visiting Trump Turnberry Luxury Collection Resort in Scotland as people gather to protest during his visit to the United Kingdom on July 14, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The President of the United States and First Lady, Melania Trump on their first official visit to the UK after yesterday's meetings with the Prime Minister and the Queen is in Scotland for private weekend stay at his Turnberry.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JULY 14: Workers tend to The Baby Trump Balloon while the U.S. President is visiting Trump Turnberry Luxury Collection Resort in Scotland as people gather to protest during his visit to the United Kingdom on July 14, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The President of the United States and First Lady, Melania Trump on their first official visit to the UK after yesterday's meetings with the Prime Minister and the Queen is in Scotland for private weekend stay at his Turnberry. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)(Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

A man who started a crowd source funding account to bring a balloon ridiculing President Donald Trump to the United States hopes to fly it near the president’s New Jersey golf club. 

>> Read more trending news

The “Fund To Bring Baby Trump To America” raised more than $5,800 as of Sunday evening, more than its $4,500 goal, since it was started Friday by Didier Jimenez-Castro, who wants to fly it at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster

Content Continues Below

“This is about doing some real activism,” Jimenez-Castro, who works at a homeless shelter, told WPHT. “We want to go on a tour. We will definitely bring (the balloon) to Central Park.”

Jimenez-Castro worked with the People’s Motorcade, a group that protests out front of Trump’s New Jersey golf club, to create the GoFundMe, after he found out about the anti-Trump effigy and wanted to bring it across the Atlantic. 

He expects to receive the 20-foot tall balloon, that features Trump as an angry, cell-phone carrying caricature, which has flown in London and Scotland during the president’s visit to the United Kingdom, in mid-August.

"The baby Trump is not just a piece of humor, but it is also a symbol of the administration,” Jimenez-Castro told The Star-Ledger. “It's symbolic of the children that are in cages, it's a symbol of racism, and we know that he hates to be ridiculed." 

Trending - Most Read Stories