Cincinnati Elections Commission takes up political party spending

City Councilwoman Liz Keating is the lone Republican running for council this year. The Hamilton County Democratic Party had been seeking clarity about campaign spending but dropped the issue.

Hamilton County Democrats on Thursday withdrew a request for clarification on campaign finance law that could cap the amount of money political parties spend in this year’s Cincinnati City Council race.

In the past, parties have been allowed to pay for mailings and get out the vote efforts for city elections without it counting as a contribution to the candidates’ campaigns. Meanwhile, the city’s charter says a political party may not contribute more than $10,500 to candidates.

The Cincinnati Elections Commission had been scheduled to discuss the matter at a special meeting scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday.

But after The Enquirer began asking questions Thursday afternoon, the party withdrew the request for an advisory opinion. Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairwoman Gwen McFarlin said Friday morning the party wanted to do more research and that The Enquirer’s questions did not prompt the withdrawal.

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