A New Era for Cincinnati Sheriff’s Office: First Democrat Wins in 36 Years


Cincinnati’s Hamilton County will have its first Democratic sheriff in 36 years: Jim Neil, who will replace Simon Leis. Neil plans an audit to find “fat,” the first of sweeping changes he plans, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. Other goals include sharing services with townships to save money, shelving the office's often-mocked vehicles like its armored personnel carrier, and cutting administrators.

Neil's win marks a new era for the sheriff's office. Some say it's an indictment of the tight ship Republican Leis ran for two and half decades. Under Leis – a Marine – there were weight and fitness standards, rules about wearing long sleeves to cover tattoos and rules about when hats must be worn. Neil defeated Leis' longtime Chief Deputy Sean Donovan 201,317 votes to 174,918 votes. Donovan, a 31-year sheriff's office veteran, plans to leave.

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