Cincinnati’s Democratic mayor is calling on the services of a Republican city council candidate to introduce him tonight at the annual State of the City address.
Mayor Mark Mallory has asked John Eby, a West Side activist, to make the opening remarks for Mallory’s speech this evening. Eby is a longtime Westwood resident who ran unsuccessfully as a GOP candidate for Cincinnati City Council in 2005 and 2007. He finished 15th out of 25 candidates in balloting last November, in a year that saw all nine incumbents re-elected.
A source close to Mallory said Eby was chosen because the mayor “liked his non-partisan outlook on how to improve the city.” During last fall’s campaign, Eby teamed up with Democratic council candidate Greg Harris on a development proposal.
Just as likely influencing Mallory’s decision, however, is a political effort to shore up his support on the West Side. In recent months, several West Side leaders have criticized Mallory and city council on various issues, including policing tactics.
The mayor’s speech begins at 6:30 p.m. at Playhouse in the Park in Mount Adams. Although the event is free and open to the public, seating is limited and all 600 spots have been reserved, said the mayor’s office.
— Kevin Osborne