Who will Hamilton County residents choose to be their county commissioner in the general election held on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Stephanie Summerow Dumas, currently president of the Commissioner Board, is seeking re-election, hoping lightening strikes twice since she is the first Black woman to be elected to the county commissioners. Her competition is Republican candidate Matthew O’Neill, whose underfunded campaign is considered a long-shot and the very well-known independent candidate and former Cincinnati vice mayor Christopher E.C. Smitherman.
Political pundits watching the County Commissioner race believe the fight for the seat is truly between Dumas and Smitherman. Early in the race, O’Neil hoped to ride the Red Wave that was expected across the country, but now that wave could be a trickle as races tighten as the political rhetoric rises. Smitherman is a very well-known in the county and having appeared on a several conservative talk shows heard throughout the region. For Dumas she is now running on her record as commissioner and what she has been able to accomplish.
Stephanie Summerow Dumas
Hamilton County Commissioner Stephanie Summerow Dumas describes herself as a social worker, entrepreneur, certified healthy relationship counselor, author and politician. Prior to her election she worked as a social worker in the mental health field for over 40 years. She opened a business and then later chose to serve the public in a variety of political offices.
Prior to Commissioner, Dumas served as vice mayor and mayor of Forest Park for a total of 12 years; four years as Village Manager for Lincoln Heights, Ohio. She first ran for county commissioner in 2006 and lost and then chose to run again in 2018.
This is the second time Matthew O’Neill is running as a candidate for county commissioner. He lost to Denies Driehaus in 2020. The Cincinnati native has lived a in a variety of areas in Hamilton County before living he last 20 years in Oakley. A career accountant focusing most of his career in school finance. The last three years he is working for Protech Home Medical Company, a medical equipment company in Wilder, Ky.
O’Neill is running on a platform of never voting for a tax increase without allowing voters to cast a ballot, he will seek a repeal of the tax rate that should have decreased by .25 percent after the Union Terminal Restoration; and investigate the out-of-control spending by Metropolitan Sewer Department (MSD). He also opposes the subsidizing Metro and defunding the police.
Christopher Smitherman is a Cincinnati native known as a family man and the father of five children. Having lost his wife, Pamela, to breast cancer, Smitherman is determined to continue his work as a public servant.
The former vice mayor of City of Cincinnati and the only independent candidate for county commissioner. Despite not being endorsed by a political party he has donated funds to several republican candidates.. He is heavily endorsed by the Cincinnati community and leads in fundraising for county commissioner. In the Spring of 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine appointed Smitherman to the State’s Minority Health Strike Force, where he helped craft directives to address the COVID-19 impact on minority communities across the state.