John Cranley tops Cincinnati mayoral primary

Roxanne Qualls on her campaign focus for November

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Hamilton County voters have narrowed the Cincinnati mayoral race down to two following Tuesday's non-partisan primary election.

Democrats Johns Cranley and Roxanne Qualls, currently serving as vice-mayor, will square off this November.

Cranley came out on top with 6,388 votes (55.86%), Qualls at 4,249 votes (37.15%), Jim Berns with 557 votes (4.87%) and Sandra "Queen" Noble at 242 votes (2.12%), the Hamilton County Board of Elections reports.

Cranley served on city council from 2000 to 2009. He says projects like the street car and the privatized parking plan are not the right direction for the city.

"The people don't want their future to be locked up with the streetcar which is $150 million worth of debt, at a time when Moody's has downgraded our debt. We have a pension crisis. We don't have enough police and fire on what streets," Cranley told FOX19. "What people want is to get back to focusing on them and making their neighborhoods better and safer and a better place to live. Right now all the focus is on the streetcar that helps very few. What I want is to make a campaign about everyone, and for all the neighborhoods in the city, and I think the current leadership is all about the few."

The other Democratic candidate left standing, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, was the 66th Mayor of Cincinnati from 1993 to 1999.

What we need to do is make sure that we create a community where our kids and their kids want to stay, and other people's children want to come, and that means we have to have a strong economy. We have to have great neighborhoods," Qualls said. "We also have to have great public schools, and there's a real opportunity as mayor of the city to partner with the Cincinnati Public Schools to promote the great quality of public education that we have in many of our schools, but also to ensure that our families can actually have access to high-quality preschool for their kids." "

Other candidates were Libertarian Jim Berns, who campaigned for a smaller city government and the legalization of marijuana, and independent candidate Sandra Noble who could not be reached for comment.

The real story of this year's primary was a low voter turnout, considering the $400,000 price tag to hold the election, with less than 6% of the 201,843 registered voters casting a ballot.

That number, compared to 21% of registered voters in the 2005 mayoral primary.

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