Tuesday, October 1, 2013

By Kathy Wray Coleman: East Cleveland voters to decide mayor at the polls today, Tuesday, October 1, candidates are incumbent Mayor Gary Norton, City Council President Dr. Joy Jordan, and Vernon Robinson, East Cleveland enjoy's General Electric's Nela Park, was where Standard Oil Giant John Rockefeller once owned a home

East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton
and East Cleveland City Council President Dr. Joy Jordan
By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief,  Cleveland Urban News.Com and The Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com, Ohio's No 1 and No 2 online Black news venues (www.clevelandurbannews.comReach Cleveland Urban News.Com by email at editor@clevelandurbannews.com and by phone at 216-659-0473

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio-East Cleveland voters will decide in a primary election today, Tuesday, Oct. 1,  whether to keep incumbent Mayor Gary Norton, who ousted Eric Brewer four years ago as the then city council president, or to install East Cleveland City Council President Dr. Joy Jordan as the new mayor, also a popular figure in the majority Black impoverished suburb of Cleveland. Also in the race, which is a partisan primary of three Democrats with no Republican opponent for the November 5 general election, is Vernon Robinson.

Polls open at 6:30 am, and close at 7:30 pm.

"It is going to be a dogfight to the very end between Gary and Joy," said Community Activist Al Porter, vice president of Black on Black Crime Inc."

With no Republican running for mayor the winner of the Democratic primary becomes mayor.

Both Norton and Jordan have allies.

Norton is backed by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty, whose daddy is rich, some community clergy and police, and by the Call and Post Newspaper, among others. And Jordan, the daughter of dentist and community activist Dr. Eugene Jordan, enjoys support from a cadre of community activists, all sitting members of the five-seat city council, and Una H.R Keenon, a retired East Cleveland judge who is president of the East Cleveland Board of Education and of the Black Women's Political Action Committee of greater Cleveland.

Three council seats are up for grabs, but in November since in East Cleveland there is no primary for city council races per the municipal charter. The city of some 18,000 people was once a majority White affluent city with some homes dubbed "Millionaire's Row along its Euclid Ave, a segment of homes with 18 of the original of them left and which included a home owned by Standard Oil founder and billionaire John D. Rockefeller.This was before the Great Depression.

It is also the home of General Electric's Nela Park, the world's first industrial park, one that lights up at Christmas time as an international draw to the city.

Norton and Joy Jordan have residential support too, and in a town that is one of the state's poorest city's as the public schools struggle, crime is rampant, unemployment soars  and poverty is exorbitant during what is still a national recession that hits America's struggling Black communities the hardest, data show.

Today's election in East Cleveland, simply put, is of one city, 18 precincts, and one mayoral election.