NORTH COLLEGE HILL, Ohio (FOX19) - Police responded to a North College Hill polling location Tuesday morning after police said an altercation occurred between supporters for opposing mayoral candidates.
Officers were called to the North College Hill Senior Center around 7 a.m.
Al Long, campaign manager for mayoral candidate Tracie Nichols, said he saw a supporter of Nichols’ opponent Mary Jo Zorb speaking with a poll worker about the proper distance campaign staff should be from the polling location
“Poll worker needs to take information from the Hamilton County Board of Elections and not take information from any of the candidates, surrogates, campaign managers or any of their people,” Long said.
Nicholas Link, Zorb’s supporter, said he wasn’t trying to do anything illegal.
“We just wanted to establish where in the heck we’re supposed to be," Link said.
Link said he did not agree with how Long was campaigning for his candidate throughout the race.
“I had the two earlier instances and then I had Al coming up and being a blow hard like he is,” Link said.
Long claimed Link raised his voice when he approached the two men talking.
Long said that’s when things got physical, and claimed Link forcibly pushed him back 10 to 15 feet.
Link does not dispute putting his hands on Long but disagrees with Long’s description of how far he had pushed him.
The 911 tape from the incident told a different story.
“He pushed me back about 3 or 4 feet. I could have easily defended myself, but I didn’t want to lay hands on him, so he laid hands on me,” Long is heard saying in the 911 call.
North College Hill police took statements from both men. They said they will give it to the Hamilton County prosecutor. It will then be determined if charges will be filed against Link.
Both men said this incident does not reflect on the politics of the area or the mayoral race.
“I do not think this is a stain on the mayoral election," Long said. “I do believe we are going to always have things like this happen in North College Hill until everybody understands that we do not have to hate each other.”
“It’s about personality," Link said of the incident. “He seemingly doesn’t like my personality and I will verify I have no use for his."
North College Hill police told FOX19 NOW they had police stationed at all four polling locations throughout the rest of the day after the incident