Hamilton County Elections: Issue 7 too close to call

Issue 7 too close to call after Tuesday's election

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Some races had surprises and others are too close to call in Hamilton County’s unofficial election results.

The most watched result was Issue 7.

The ballot issue would raise the county sales tax by 0.8 percent to pay for improved Metro bus service and infrastructure projects, including the replacement of the Western Hills Viaduct.

The sales tax increased would be counter-balanced by a 0.3 percent reduction of Cincinnati’s earning tax for those who work in the city.

Unofficial results have the issue passing with 65,943 votes tallied in favor and 65,318 against.

More than 18,000 provisional and absentee ballots must still be counted.

The Hamilton County Board of Elections says the results will be certified sometime May 9-19.

Hamilton County Sheriff

Charmaine McGuffey beat former her former boss, Sheriff Jim Neil with nearly 70 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary and will face Republican challenger Bruce Hoffbauer in the fall general election, according to unofficial results early Wednesday.

McGuffey won with 50,293 votes over 21,891 for Neil, who was first elected in 2012.

In other county races:

  • Who will succeed the late Todd Portune on the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners? Former state lawmaker and Cincinnati mayor Alicia Reece has a lead over former state representative Connie Pillich by 1,851 votes. It may be too close to call at this point. Reece received 56.50% of the vote, or 32,689 votes, compared to 30,838 votes for Pillich. Cincinnati community activist Kelli Prather has 6,700 votes.
  • Former Hamilton County judge Fanon Rucker will face Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters this fall. Rucker won by 68.58% with 46,722 votes compared to 21,406 for challenger Gabe Davis.
  • Matthew Paul O’Neil emerged as the GOP candidate to oppose Hamilton County Commissioner President Denise Driehaus in November. He received 54.41% of the vote with 18,997 votes over challengers Debbie Flammer (10,077) and David McCollough (5,838).
  • U.S. Congressman Brad Wenstrup overwhelmingly won his primary by 95.63% with 15,726 votes over H. Robert Harris’s 718.

Several school levies passed:

  • Edgewood City Schools
  • Bellbrook Sugarcreek Local School District
  • Lebanon Schools
  • Mason Schools
  • West Clermont Local Schools
  • Western Brown Local Schools

Here’s the ones that failed:

  • Kings Local Schools
  • Little Miami Schools
  • Loveland City Schools
  • Winton Woods City Schools

The results from the primary election were delayed well past midnight in Hamilton County due to a large number of vote-by-mail ballots that came in Tuesday, according to its Board of Elections.

Mail-in ballots had to be postmarked by Monday, but voters could bring ballots to the BOE office in Norwood until 7:30 p.m.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, in-person voting was only available in Ohio Tuesday to people with disabilities who required in-person voting and those who do not have a home mailing address.

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