Black represention in Cincinnati under proportional voting

A reader asks, “When was first African-American candidate elected? Was representation continuous from then, until repeal? When was the first time there were two?” The answers are 1931, no, and November 1949.

Some context: Cincinnati used the single transferable vote in 31 elections, from 1925 to 1955. This was in tandem with an otherwise standard council-manager charter: nonpartisan elections, nine-seat assembly, responsible executive, and so forth.

Here is a list of Black candidates who ran, their parties, and whether they won. The list is based on having researched the identities of every declared candidate. “Charter” means an endorsee of this group, which used to be a coalition of Progressive Republicans and the mainline Democratic Party. A candidate’s name is underlined if they won a seat.

1925: John S. Fielding (I) and C.E. Hunter (I)
1927: Frank A.B. Hall (I)
1929: George W.B. Conrad (I) and Frank A.B. Hall (I)
1931: Frank A.B. Hall (R)
1933: Frank A.B. Hall (R)
1935: R.P. McClain (R)
1937: R.P. McClain (R) and R.E. Beamon (Charter-Democrat)
1939: David D. Turpeau (R)
1941: Jesse Locker (R)
1943: Jesse Locker (R)
1945: Jesse Locker (R)
1947: Jesse Locker (R) and Theodore Berry (I)
1949: Jesse Locker (R) and Theodore Berry (Charter-Republican)
1951: Jesse Locker (R) and Theodore Berry (Charter-Democrat)
1953: Theodore Berry (Charter-Democrat) and A. Bruce McClure (R)
1955: Theodore Berry (Charter-Democrat)

An analysis of strategic decisions to nominate/endorse these people (e.g., Hall and Berry) can be found here. A shorter, popular write-up appeared here.

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