All Cleveland City Council incumbents survive primary

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All of City Council's incumbents survived Tuesday's primary, which featured 11 races with at least three candidates. The

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Cleveland's Ward 7 Councilman TJ Dow outdistanced a field of five challengers in Tuesday's nonpartisan primary, capturing nearly 41 percent of the vote to advance to the November general election.  

While he finished first, he faces a tough battle to win re-election in November. His challenge: How to gather enough votes when 59 percent of the ward voted against him in the primary, according to unofficial results from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. 

All of City Council's incumbents survived Tuesday's primary, which featured 11 races with at least three candidates. The top two finishers advance to the Nov. 7 general election. All of Cleveland's 17 wards will have contested elections in November. 

Among the other primary contests Tuesday: 

  • Former Councilman Joe Jones led current Councilman Terrill Pruitt 44.3 percent to 36.1 percent in a three-way race, setting up a tough contest in Ward 1 for November. 
  • Ward 14 Councilman Brian Cummins and Jasmin Santana, the endorsed Democrat, led three other candidates in their hotly contested primary. Cummins trailed Santana 33 percent to 34.9 percent. 
  • Longtime Councilman Ken Johnson led eight challengers with 48.1 percent of the vote to advance in Ward 4. In November, he will face Gail Sparks, who captured 22.7 percent of the vote.  
  • Ward 6 Councilman Blaine Griffin, on the ballot for the first time since he replaced retiring Councilwoman Mamie Mitchell, led five other candidates, collecting 61 percent of the vote. In November, he will face Joshua Perkins McHamm, who got 14 percent. 
  • Ward 9 Councilman Kevin Conwell outdistanced three other candidates on the ballot, capturing 80.3 percent of the vote. Anthony Body got 9.4 percent of the vote to also advance to the general election.  

Two new members were guaranteed for City Council coming into the primary because Ward 2 Councilman Zack Reed and Ward 10 Councilman Jeff Johnson gave up their seats to run for mayor. Each of those wards had large fields of candidates. 

In Ward 2, Kevin Bishop and Geoff Fitch led eight candidates on the ballot to advance. In Ward 10, Cuyahoga County Councilman Anthony Hairston and former Councilman Eugene Miller led 10 candidates.   

Basheer Jones finished second to Dow in the Ward 7 primary with 37.9 percent, according to unofficial results. Dow had 40.9 percent. 

A councilman since 2008, Dow has drawn criticism from opponents who accused him of fear mongering over development and needlessly holding up projects they say would benefit the East Side ward.  

Dow, 43, has said he is just trying to represent residents who fear new ventures will drive up their rents. 

In Ward 14, where more than one-third of voters are Hispanic, the race pit Cummins, a member of council since 2006, against three Hispanic candidates and Kyle Cassidy, a white Republican candidate. 

During the primary campaign, the candidates hurled charges of dirty politics. There were suggestions that a ghost candidate was put up to dilute both the white and Hispanic votes. Complaints were filed with both the elections board and the Cuyahoga County prosecutor.   

Cummins' vote total left him 21 votes behind Santana, a candidate backed by local Democratic leader Rick Nagin, who Cummins defeated in 2009. 

Here's a look at the ballot lineup for the November election. Incumbents are noted with an asterisk: 

Ward 1   

  • Joe Jones 
  • Terrell H. Pruitt*  

Ward 2    

  • Kevin L. Bishop: owner of who owns Kadillac Transportation Services LLC  
  • Geoff A. Fitch: an Ohio State University graduate and economic development specialist   

Ward 3   

  • Logan E. Fahey 
  • Kerry McCormack* 

Ward 4   

  • Kenneth L. Johnson Sr*: Member of City Council for nearly four decades. Chairs the Municipal Services and Properties Committee and is a member of the Transportation Committee.   
  • Gail Sparks: A small business woman backed by the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus  

Ward 5   

  • Phyllis Cleveland*: Member of City Council since 2006, majority leader.   
  • Richard Starr: Director of the King Kennedy Boys and Girls Club and athletic director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland   

Ward 6   

  • Blaine Griffin*: Member of City Council, appointed in May to fill the seat made vacant with Councilwoman Mamie J. Mitchell's resignation.     
  • Joshua Perkins McHamm: A community activist.      

Ward 7   

  • TJ Dow*: A lawyer. Member of City Council since 2008.   
  • Basheer Jones: An educational consultant and community activist.   

Ward 8   

  • Donald Boyd 
  • Michael D. Polensek* 

Ward 9   

  • Anthony Body  
  • Kevin Conwell*: Member of City Council since 2001. Vice chair of council's Safety Committee.   

Ward 10    

  • Anthony Hairston: Member of Cuyahoga County Council.  
  • Eugene Miller: Former member of Cleveland City Council.   

Ward 11   

  • Dona Brady* 
  • Gilder E. Malone   

Ward 12   

  • Anthony Brancatelli* 
  • Shalira Taylor 

Ward 13    

  • Michele Burk: Employee with Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities.   
  • Kevin Kelley*: Member of City Council since 2006. He became president of council in 2014.  

Ward 14   

  • Brian Cummins*: Member of City Council since 2006. Chairs council's Health and Human Services Committee.   
  • Jasmin Santana: Community engagement director for Hispanic Alliance Inc. and health care advocate.   

Ward 15   

  • Alex Karrfalt  
  • Matt Zone*: Member of City Council since 2002. Chairs council's Safety Committee.   

Ward 16   

  • Ellen Cleary  
  • Brian Kazy*: Member of City Council since 2015. Former Cuyahoga County probation officer.   

Ward 17   

  • Martin J. Keane*: Member of City Council since 2008. Chairs council's Transportation Committee.
  • John F. Kelly 
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Article All Cleveland City Council incumbents survive primary compiled by Original article here

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