Jim Tarbell

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Jim Tarbell

James "Jim" Tarbell is an American politician of the Charter Party, who served as a member of the city council and Vice-Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio. By mayoral proclamation, Jim Tarbell holds the title "Mr. Cincinnati" for life.

Early life and education[edit]

Tarbell's family moved from a small Ohio town to the Hyde Park neighborhood of Cincinnati in 1946.[1] He attended St. Xavier High School[2][3][4] and graduated from Withrow High School in 1960 before attending the Lowell Technological Institute in Lowell, Massachusetts.[5] He returned to Cincinnati in 1967.[1]

Business career[edit]

Tarbell owned the Ludlow Garage, a local concert venue, from the late 1960s until its closing in 1971.

Political career[edit]

In 1997 the restaurateur began his political career by campaigning in his now well known top hat and tails. He was first appointed to Cincinnati City Council in 1998 to replace the retiring Bobbie L. Sterne, was elected in 1999, and re-elected in 2001, 2003, and 2005. Until 2003, when Christopher Smitherman won a seat on the council, Tarbell was the sole Charterite on the council. In 2005, Tarbell was appointed Vice Mayor by Mark Mallory, the newly elected Mayor of Cincinnati. Because of term limits, Tarbell could not run for reelection in the November 2007 election.

In March 2010, Tarbell ran for Hamilton County Commissioner for the first time.[6] In September 2014, Jim Tarbell announced he was running for Hamilton County Commissioner, again, this time as a write-in candidate. His campaign was launched with a "Taste of Tarbell" event at Memorial Hall, an historic building owned by Hamilton County and next door to Music Hall overlooking Washington Park in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati. Singer Katie Lauer, band "Over the Rhine" and other talented musical artists attended the event and provided rousing entertainment. Local news WCPO provided coverage;[7]


  1. ^ a b Miller, Zane L.; Tucker, Bruce (1998). "Separatists Victorious, 1983–1985" (PDF). Changing Plans for America's Inner Cities (PDF). Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press. p. 139. ISBN 0-8142-0762-6. Retrieved February 7, 2009. 
  2. ^ "1957 The X-RAY St. XAVIER Jim Tarbell Cincinnati OH HIGH School ANNUAL Yearbook". eBay. June 1, 2013. Retrieved September 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ Michaud, Anne (July 2, 1998). "Tarbell to carry Charterite torch". The Cincinnati Enquirer (Gannett Company). Retrieved September 29, 2013. Vine Street and other major city thoroughfares have deteriorated to a state he never would have imagined, [Tarbell] said, when he attended St. Xavier High School downtown. 
  4. ^ "Graduation 2010" (Press release). St. Xavier High School. June 4, 2010. Retrieved September 29, 2013. The June 3 ceremonies at Xavier University’s Cintas Center featured the class of 1960 leading the procession into the arena. ... (It was also a special walk for Jim Tarbell, who famously didn’t quite graduate with his class and have the opportunity to walk 50 years ago.) 
  5. ^ Tarbell, Jim (October 28, 2010). "Full Biography for Jim Tarbell". Smart Voter. League of Women Voters. Retrieved September 29, 2013. 
  6. ^ Brown, Jessica, "Dems in County Primary Differ on Taxes", Cincinnati Enquirer, April 12, 2010 [1]
  7. ^ "Jim Tarbell on his Write-in Campaign: I have nothing to lose" by Lisa Bernard-Kuhn [2]

Write In Tarbell for County Commissioner, Official campaign website. Jim Tarbell, Official Facebook Page. Tarbell Tweets, Official Twitter Feed.