ELECTION: Butler gets most votes, Oury out

Published on November 3, 2021.


LOVELAND, Ohio — Tim Butler will return to Loveland City Council after a concerted effort to oust him failed to gain any traction.

Butler finished in first place with 1,634 votes with precincts in all three Loveland counties reporting 100 percent. First-time candidates John Hart and Kip Ping also won, with 1,348 and 1,280 votes, respectively.

Ted Phelps, running for his third term, came in fourth with 1,248 votes. Incumbent Neal Oury will only serve one term on Council, having finished in fifth with just 1,197 votes. Newcomer Kim Lukens came in last with 807 votes.

“I am honored and humbled with the show of confidence from the voters,” Butler said late Tuesday evening. “I want to thank the voters, my supporters, but especially my family.”

This isn’t Butler’s first time leading the vote tallies. He was also the topmost vote-getter in 2017 in his first bid for Council.

However, Butler last time was running with two of the same people running this time – Oury and Phelps. Another former candidate, long-time Councilman Rob Weisgerber did not run after serving nearly 30 years on Council.

But this time both Oury and Phelps ran on a slate openly opposing him, with Hart and Ping. Oury and Phelps never said publicly why they opposed Butler and never responded to Loveland Local News’ requests for an interview during the campaign.

Oury is the past president of the Loveland Community Heartbeat Political Action Committee, a liberal-leaning group founded when disgruntled Loveland Farmer’s Market organizers and those who had a beef with former city manager-turned-Councilman Mayor Mark Fitzgerald joined forces to oppose Fitzgerald and three of his allies on Council. The group this time endorsed Phelps, Oury, Hart and Ping. The Heartbeat PAC members actively supported Butler in his last race but turned on him this time, citing his decision not to support the planned downtown parking garage and litany of issues that seemed to grow larger and larger as Election Day approached.

“I’m looking forward to getting to work with this new Council to move Loveland forward in a positive direction,” Butler said. “I want to congratulate Kip, John and Ted for their victory – and for Kim and Neal for waging a great campaign.”

Butler said he had exchanged text messages with Phelps and extended his best wishes to Hart and Ping through Phelps. He said he also exchanged texts with Lukens.

The new City Council will be sworn-in in December.

Last Updated on November 9, 2021 by Joe Wessels

About Joe Wessels 77 Articles
Long-time and award-winning Cincinnati-area journalist, radio show host, podcast producer and photographer Joe Wessels is the founder and publisher (and kinda the do-everything guy) of Loveland Local News. Previously, Wessels was the Cincinnati City Hall and Hamilton County reporter for The Cincinnati Post and a weekly columnist for Cincinnati CityBeat where he regularly broke news. Wessels moved to Loveland in 2014 and quickly realized Loveland would be a great place to fulfill his dream of creating his own online news and information publication.