Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nina Turner's future bright due to gutsy stand on Issue 6

Nina Turner hammered home a lesson recently to freshmen at Cleveland's John F. Kennedy High School, her alma mater.

The state senator's grandmother once told her she needed three things to be successful in life: a wishbone, a jawbone and a backbone. The first was for hoping and setting goals, the second for speaking out, and the third for persevering, no matter how tough the challenge.

Cuyahoga County witnessed that anatomy in action this election season, when Turner risked her career to get behind Issue 6, a government reform initiative that her elders in the black Democratic establishment pressured her to avoid.

Voters approved the measure in a landslide, and Turner, propelled largely by her gutsy yet winning decision, has emerged as the region's "it" politician of the moment -- a mantle that provokes no shortage of speculation.

Will she run for county executive, the new and powerful position she campaigned to create? Will she, as one old friend has predicted, be the first black woman to be elected mayor of Cleveland? There are plenty of options for Turner, who overcame a childhood that produced the lowest of expectations and today finds herself looking at a menu of much loftier ones.

Read the full story

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Election 2009: Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson wins 2nd term, Jeffrey Johnson face returns to City Council

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Mayor Frank Jackson, who won re-election by a wide margin Tuesday, made his bid for a second term look easy. 

The hard work will come in the weeks and months ahead.

For starters, Jackson will test the political capital he won from his landslide victory as he deals with what is projected to be a huge 2010 budget gap. Whatever capital he has left after completing that urgent task will help determine the course of Cleveland’s next four years.
With all precincts reporting late Tuesday, unofficial returns from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections showed Jackson with 77 percent of the vote. Long-shot challenger Bill Patmon, a former city councilman who struggled to raise money or interest, had 22 percent.

Read the full story

Meanwhile, in one of the highest-voltage battles in Cleveland elections Tuesday, a former state senator convicted of a federal extortion charge a decade ago won a seat on City Council.

Unofficial final results showed Jeffrey Johnson garnering 55 percent of the Ward 8 vote to defeat Councilwoman Shari Cloud, who was appointed to the seat in May after the surprise resignation of Sabra Pierce Scott.

Johnson will be the only new face on council -- and his face isn't completely new. He previously served as a councilman. Read that full story, written with Gabriel Baird, here.