Brigid Kelly

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Brigid Kelly
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the 31st district
In office
January 3, 2017 – December 2022
Preceded byDenise Driehaus
Hamilton County Auditor
In office
March 2023 – March 26, 2024
Personal details
Born(1983-04-21)April 21, 1983
DiedMarch 26, 2024(2024-03-26) (aged 40)
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseSteve Culter
ResidenceCincinnati, Ohio
Alma materXavier University (BS)
University of Cincinnati (MA)

Brigid Kelly (also Brigid Kelly Culter; April 21, 1983 – March 26, 2024) was an American Democratic Party politician who served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 2017 to 2022, representing the 31st District, which consisted of a portion of Cincinnati as well as Norwood, Amberley, Fairfax, Silverton, St. Bernard and a portion of Columbia Township in Hamilton County. She served as the Hamilton County Auditor from March 2023 until her death.

Life and early career[edit]

Kelly was born on April 21, 1983.[1] She was raised in Norwood, Ohio, and attended Saint Ursula Academy before graduating from Xavier University with a bachelor's degree and the University of Cincinnati with a master's degree. She had three brothers. Her brother Nicholas died before her. She was married to Steve Culter. A member of a union household, Kelly started working for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union in 2006. She was an organizer for more than a decade and became a communications director for the union.[2][3][4][5]

Prior to being elected to state office, Kelly won a seat on the Norwood City Council in 2006 shortly after she graduated from college.[4][6][7] Her grandfather was the mayor of Norwood in the 1950s and her father was a long-time elected official in Norwood.[5]

Kelly was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2022, and died from the illness on March 26, 2024, at the age of 40.[8]

Ohio House of Representatives[edit]

In 2016, Representative Denise Driehaus was ineligible to run for a fifth term due to term limits, and instead waged a successful bid for Hamilton County Commissioner. Kelly had long been planning to succeed Driehaus, and indeed did announce her campaign for the Democratic nomination. A safely Democratic seat, the primary was crowded, with six people running. However, Kelly won with a plurality of nearly 35%.[9]

Kelly won the general election against Republican Mary E. Yeager with 68% of the vote to take the seat.[10]

Kelly served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 2017 to 2022.[11] While she was in the House, she led a bipartisan effort to pass a bill that would eliminate a sales tax on tampons and other feminine hygiene products in Ohio. She was a primary sponsor of a bill that passed 84–1 in the House in December 2018.[5][12] The bill passed in the Ohio Senate in October 2019 and went into effect on April 1, 2020.[13][14] She became the House minority whip, but she lost her role in early 2019 when she refused to support Republican Larry Householder's bid to become Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives after Democrats made a deal to support Householder.[7]

Hamilton County Auditor[edit]

Kelly won the election for Hamilton County Auditor in November 2022 with 53% of the vote.[15] She battled esophageal cancer throughout her tenure as Hamilton County Auditor from March 2023 to March 2024. On March 21, 2024, she announced her resignation due to her declining health. The resignation would have gone into effect on March 27, but she died the day prior.[4][16]


  1. ^ Official Obituary of Brigid Kelly
  2. ^ WCPO Staff (March 16, 2016). "Front-runner Brigid Kelly takes Democratic nomination for 31st State House district". Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  3. ^ Brigid Kelly, The Cincinnati Enquirer
  4. ^ a b c Ohio politician Brigid Kelly died of cancer less than a week after resigning from office, USA Today
  5. ^ a b c PX column: How'd Cincinnati Democrat win over GOP? Hint: She didn't wallow in petty politics, The Cincinnati Enquirer
  6. ^ "Is Cranley vs. Simpson heading to Columbus?". Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Former Hamilton County Auditor Brigid Kelly dies; 'Dedicated her career to service', The Cincinnati Enquirer
  8. ^ "Former state lawmaker, Hamilton County auditor Brigid Kelly has died". WVXU. March 26, 2024. Retrieved March 27, 2024.
  9. ^ "Endorsements: Kelly, Ingram for Ohio House primaries". Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  10. ^ "Kelly, Ingram win statehouse races". Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  11. ^ Brigid Kelly, Ohio Statehouse
  12. ^ Ohio House passes bill to end sales tax on tampons, other feminine hygiene products, The Cincinnati Enquirer
  13. ^ Ohio's 'pink tax' repeal heads to governor's desk, WLWT
  14. ^ Women in Ohio no longer have to pay 'Pink Tax'
  15. ^ "Democrats hold on to auditor and clerk of courts seats in Hamilton County". November 9, 2022.
  16. ^ Read Brigid Kelly's letter to supporters about her resignation, health, The Cincinnati Enquirer

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Ohio House of Representatives, 31st District
Succeeded by