Cleveland City Council Gets Five New Members
Cleveland's 17 city council seats will include some new faces starting in January.
In Ward 7, Basheer Jones beat out incumbent TJ Dow in a close race.
Jones surpassed Dow in the unofficial tally by 19 votes. Dow was first elected in 2007 to the East Side ward that includes Hough and St. Clair-Superior.
At his watch party near Downtown Cleveland, after the votes were counted, Jones called for unity between his supporters and Dow’s.
“If you truly believe what we believe, that Ward 7 is the best place in the entire city, then I want you to come on over here, join us," said Jones, an author and activist originally from Brooklyn, NY.
He ran against Dow in 2013, losing by 700 votes. Jones credited his victory to a widespread dissatisfaction with Dow’s performance in office.
Ward 14’s Brian Cummins lost a tight race to challenger Jasmin Santana.
Santana beat out Cummins in the primary by 34 votes, they both advanced to the general election, where Santana expanded her margin to 48 votes.
Ward 14 includes the Clark-Fulton and Stockyards neighborhoods on the West Side. After the results were in, Santana said the current councilman, Cummins, who represented Old Brooklyn before redistricting transformed his ward, lost touch with the residents.
“For the highest concentrated Latino area, we finally have a voice at city hall, someone that’s sitting at the table," said Santana.
In total, three incumbents – Cummins, Dow and Terrell Pruitt – were beaten by narrow margins. Pruitt’s loss by 9 votes to former councilman Joe Jones could trigger an automatic recount.
Wards 2 and 10 were left open by Zack Reed and Jeff Johnson when they launched campaigns for mayor.
In Johnson’s seat, Ward 10 on the east side, Anthony Hairston won easily. He’ll move over from his county council seat, where he’s served since 2014.
In Ward 2, businessman Kevin Bishop also won easily, replacing Reed.
The twelve other incumbents all held onto their seats by wide margins.