Butler County Commissioner Cindy Carpenter continues election night dominance

This is her eighth straight win.

Cindy Carpenter has remained undefeated in her political career.

For the eighth consecutive time, Carpenter, a Butler County commissioner, won an election Tuesday night when she easily defeated her Democratic challenger and political newcomer.

Carpenter finished with 69% of the vote, compared to Latisha Hazell’s 31%, according to the unofficial results from the Butler County Board of Elections.

Butler County is a Republican stronghold and Carpenter has had a Democratic challenger in every one of her re-election bids. She 70% of the votes in her first race, 69% in 2014 and 65% in 2018. The last known Democrat to win a partisan countywide office was John Holcomb, who was elected prosecutor in 1998.

After serving four terms as the clerk of courts, Carpenter was first elected commissioner in 2010 when she became the first county office holder to become commissioner,

She credited her election night success to the work she puts in leading up to the voting. She campaigns door-to-door and listens to those she represents, she said.

So when it’s time to talk about an important issue, she represents those who live in the county instead of her values. She leaves her personal opinions at home, she said.

“We have very diverse communities in the county,” she said. “Everyone has different needs.”

She paused during the phone interview, then added: “I love this county.”

Hazell has been a human resources leader for more than 21 years, with experience in state and local government. She is deputy director and chief talent acquisition officer of human resources for the city of Cincinnati. She holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in human resources management from Franklin University in Columbus.

Carpenter said her opponent brought a “significant amount” of leadership and organizational skills to her campaign and she hopes Hazell remains active in politics.

“(Hazell) has an important voice,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter, elected to another four-year term, said the county needs to continue working on its workforce development due to the labor shortage following the pandemic. Filling the open positions is a top priority for the county, she said.

“We have to get to the bottom of it,” she said.

The county commissioners are the executive board for the 7th largest county in the state with around 2,000 employees and a budget of $505.5 million. They hold the purse strings for 14 departments under their direct control, 15 other elected officials and seven independent boards.

The commissioners will earn $98,563 next year by statute but are not required to work full-time, although they spend countless hours on county business every week. The other two commissioners have also held full-time jobs outside of county government.

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