Alex Triantafilou, chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party, recently announced his candidacy for Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party after the current chairman, Bob Paduchik, declined to seek another term.
Members of the State Central Committee will elect a state chairman at their January 6, 2023 meeting. In the interim Triantafilou plans to take his campaign across the state to share his vision for the state-wide party. “My vision for the party is to be principled, well-funded, well-staffed, and organized entity that truly acts as a service organization for all Republican candidates,” according to his press release. “Having run a large, diverse, and strong county party for more than a decade, I know the difficulties that lay ahead. I believe I am uniquely suited to lead this Party during this critical time.”
Who is Alex Triantafilou?
Alex Triantafilou, born and raised in SW Ohio, is a graduate of Oak Hills High School, the University of Cincinnati (B.A., 1993), and Northern Kentucky University, Chase College of Law (J.D., 1996). He resides in Green Township, Ohio. After law school he worked as a Hamilton County assistant prosecuting attorney for prosecutor Joseph T. Deters. He also worked in the office of the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts. In 2005, Triantafilou was appointed and subsequently won election to the Hamilton County Municipal Court. In 2006, he was appointed to the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas.
In 2008, he accepted the chairmanship of the Hamilton County Republican Party and became a partner at the Cincinnati law firm of Dinsmore & Shohl. According to Dinsmore, Triantafilou handles a variety of business and contractual disputes as well as a criminal law practice. In his role as chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party, Alex has an extensive network of relationships throughout the legal and business communities.
What kind of leadership would he bring to the state GOP?
Recently Triantafilou’s duties as county chair became more challenging due to recent demographic changes that resulted in the dissolution of his reliable Republican suburban base. He responded by recruiting minority and women candidates to run for local office. He is credited with the election of Kristie Dukes Davis, the county party’s African American co-chair, who won a Springfield township trustee seat by about eight percentage points over Democrat Jamie Rae. Interestingly, nowhere in Davis’ campaign did she come out and say she was a Republican.
In his announcement for State chairman, Triantafilou claimed victory in the recent mid-term elections pointing to the re-election of judges Megan Shanahan and Pat Dinkelacker (after losses last cycle) and the election of Betsy Sundermann and Stacey DeGraffenreid.
Despite these successes, many local party members can’t get passed Triantafilou’s refusal to take a stand when it really mattered. It was regarding Issue 7 – a May 2020 ballot initiative proposing the largest sales tax increase in the history of Hamilton County. The ballot measure sponsored by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority would increase the county sales tax from 7% to 7.8% for 25 years in order to shift its current funding model, which relied primarily on the city’s 2.1% earnings tax. This was just the most recent attempt to transfer the funding burden from the city to the county. Past attempts had failed at the ballot box several times since the 1970s. If passed it would make Hamilton County’s sales taxes one of the highest in the state of Ohio and roll back the city earnings tax paid by anyone who lived or worked in the city limits from 2.1% to 1.8%.
Proponents of the tax levy billed the issue as a badly needed infrastructure bill for improving roads and bridges and expanding and improving public transportation. Opponents pointed out that it was too much money for too long with only 25% of the revenue going to infrastructure and 75% going toward funding Cincinnati Metro bus service operations, capital costs and pension liabilities. At that time the city earnings tax generated roughly $50 million each year for bus service. It was estimated that the sales tax increase alone would generate roughly double that amount.
How did the Chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party weigh in on this matter? Triantafilou refused to take a stand. He remained neutral despite pleas from county citizens to come out against the measure. After a hard fought battle lead by citizens on the ground, the issue passed with 67,698 voting in favor, versus 66,718 voting against – a margin of 980 votes that was not small enough to trigger an automatic recount and one that left citizens wondering “what if?.”
As the saying goes, if a Republican isn’t good on taxes are they any good at all?