Twelve years ago, I made a private decision that I would one day run for Hamilton County Commissioner. In 2008 the Hamilton County Democratic Party and the Hamilton County Republican Party colluded in an awful backroom deal to deny voters of their right to vote for a commissioner. At that time, I was reading a book by Zane Miller titled ‘Boss Cox’s Cincinnati’. The focus of the book is on the patronage, personal favoritism, and machinery that drove local politics leading to disorder and domineering in Cincinnati’s politics in the late 1800s.
The 2008 deal made by the chairs of the two political parties and the county commissioners of that time granted free rides to political office to individuals who needed to answer to voters. I shared this with my wife, and she was equally appalled. At that time, we had a two-year old child and were expecting our second, so we decided that I should wait. Additionally, I was not fully equipped yet, so I chose to go to Doctoral school to pursue a terminal degree in Organizational Leadership. I knew then that I would need to stay Independent so that at the right time, I would ask Hamilton County voters to rebuke both parties for the 2008 backroom deal.
Fast forward twelve years later, I am now on the ballot as the first Independent to ever run for Commissioner in our county’s 230-year history. I am honored by the trust shown by more than 9,000 voters who signed my petitions over a two-year period as I sought ballot access. In 2018 I submitted 3,397 signatures but fell short of the signature requirement. This year I submitted 6,847 signatures, more than double the requirement for Independent candidates. I collected all these signatures by myself from April 2019 to January 2020. Party candidates on the other hand submitted only 150 signatures, and clearly were helped by a team.
Hamilton County voters never forget. It is time to repudiate the local Republican and Democratic party for the 2008 deal by voting for the Independent, non-party candidate in the Commissioner race. 2020 has not been a normal year. This great pause has given us a chance to remember what happened in 2008. Besides repudiating the parties, voting for Dr. Najoli, a Westsider, will ensure that we have a good proportional representation on the commission and not just Eastsiders or Northsiders alone. On November 3rd, vote Najoli for Commissioner.
Friends, I am humbled and will be the most ACTIVE COMMISSIONER ever. I am honored to already be the most EQUIPPED candidate to ever run in the 230-year history of our county. Please read both columns that were published recently in the Enquirer. I will ACE this role. In 2020, let us boldly vote in an Independent for Hamilton County Commissioner. Thank you for your vote.