Cincinnati has made great strides in its policies and attitudes toward people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, said City Councilman Chris Seelbach, who was the first openly gay member of council. He has been at the forefront of the city's support of transgender people having the same right as anyone else to try to become police officers. (WCPO file photo)

Seelbach disses losing candidate in City Council election on Twitter

CINCINNATI -- After successfully securing his City Council position for a final term, Councilman Chris Seelbach took a moment Wednesday morning to dangle his victory over the head of a candidate who didn't make the cut.

Dear @SethManey I never responded to you. Because I was never competing for 16th place.

— Chris Seelbach (@ChrisSeelbach) November 8, 2017

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It was the latest -- but maybe not the last -- barb in a conflict between two local men who spent their City Council campaigns split over the role a shared identity should play in their political presences.

Had he been elected, Republican Seth Maney would have become the second openly gay man to sit on Cincinnati's council after Democrat Seelbach, but Maney repeatedly and openly derided what he characterized as Seelbach's focus on "identity politics" as a driver of legislation.

Despite their single, superficial demographic similarity, the pair made it clear through word and deed they each had far more in common with other members of their own parties.

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Maney at one point even challenged Seelbach to a debate, writing the incumbent had specifically targeted him in a campaign ad and "boiled his and Seth's campaigns down to sexual orientation, rather than focusing on prevalent issues that affect the whole of Cincinnati."

Unfortunately I continue to be singled out by @ChrisSeelbach. Instead of making this election about us, let's have a debate about the issues

— Seth Maney (@SethManey) September 5, 2017

Seelbach didn't respond until the Wednesday tweet, which garnered backlash from fellow council members and voters who identified themselves as both Republicans and Democrats. (Have you heard of The Ratio?)

"Please sir kindly grow up," a user called Butch Frey wrote. "The tweets of immature 5th grader not only embarrassing you but increasingly the community you claim represent."

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"If you had tweeted something like this prior to Tuesday, it would have changed my vote. Be a better person," added user Em Kay.

"Keep your head up," Smitherman tweeted at Maney. "I look forward to working with u (sic) over the years."

And Maney quoted a tweet Seelbach posted nearly two years earlier.

"Bullies don't belong in politics, no matter what level we're talking about" -@ChrisSeelbach 12/22/2015

— Seth Maney (@SethManey) November 8, 2017

Seelbach has never hesitated to name names, whether they are those of local media outlets, specific political opponents or restaurants, when making a point on Twitter. His aggressive style and hardline commitment to progressive representation got him recognized by the White House in 2013.