Monday, December 16, 2013

By Kathy Wray Coleman: Cleveland Ward 1 county Democratic party executive committee members to interview candidates today for upcoming open slots in 2014 for Cuyahoga County executive and Ohio state senate district 25, seats currently held by Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald and State Senator Nina Turner, community activists say former county sheriff Bob Reid, a since fired sheriff and current candidate for county executive next year, stole foreclosed homes via illegal sheriff sales where he and his hirees deflated the appraised values of foreclosed homes in violation of state law to steal for friends, banks, mortgages companies, data show

Top row from left: Cleveland Ward 1 Councilman Terrell Pruitt, Ohio State Senator Nina Turner (D-25), and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald
Second row from Left: Ohio State Senator Shirley Smith (D-22), and Ohio State Representative Armond Budish (D-9)
Third row from left: Fired former Cuyahoga County Sheriff Bob Reid, former Ohio state representative Kenny Yuko, and Ohio State Representative Bill Patmon (D-10)

By Kathy Wray Coleman, Publisher, Editor-n-Chief, Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper(

CLEVELAND, Ohio- Cleveland Ward 1 Cuyahoga County Democratic Party executive committee members, some 26 of them, will meet at the the Harvard Community Services Center in Cleveland at 6 pm today, December 16 to interview candidates for the open slots in 2014 of county executive and the seat for state senator of state legislative district 25, which also includes Ward 1.

The executive committee of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party will tentatively do endorsements for the aforementioned open slots next year in February.

The majority Black Ward 1, which has the largest voting block of all east side wards, and a staunch middle class segment, is led by Councilman Terrell Pruitt, while Nina Turner, who will forego reelection next year to the state senate seat in district 25, will run for Ohio Secretary of State in 2014 on the Democratic ticket, likely with Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald as the gubernatorial candidate.

Pruitt is a Turner protege, whom she recommended for city council in Ward 1 after she gave up her city council seat to become a state senator, a post she was subsequently elected to.

Announced candidates for county executive, all three of whom are expected to attend the Ward 1 ward club meeting tonight,  include state Rep. Armond Budish (D-9) a Beachwood Democrat and former speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, who is Jewish, state Sen. Shirley Smith (D-22), who is Black and cannot seek reelection to her senate seat next year due to term limits, and Bob Reid.

Reid is the former county sheriff whom FitzGerald fired earlier this year as sheriff, and a former police chief and city manager for the city of Bedford, Ohio.

Reid, who is White, is under fire by Cleveland area community activists for documented theft of foreclosed homes through illegal foreclosure sales by the county sheriff's office when he was county sheriff, activity allegedly overlooked by the 34 majority White judges of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas General Division, and by the office of the Cuyahoga County prosecutor.

Pursuant to his announced bid for governor, FitzGerald will likely resign his county executive seat by the end of January of next year, sources say. And Turner may follow suit and resign her senate seat. If this occurs by one of them or either of the two, the county Democratic party executive committee will likely meet sooner than February of next year, the slated time to make endorsements, to fill the vacancies, a process afforded under state law when elected officials resign before their terms expire.

Turner, who is Black, will likely face Republican Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted if she wins the Democratic nomination next year. She has endorsed former state Rep. Kenny Yuko, who  is White, to replace her in the state senate. And she chose Yuko instead of state Rep. John Barnes Jr. (D-12), who is Black, and whose state legislative district 12 also includes Ward 1. 

Barnes and Turner have been at odds with each other for sometime and so have Turner and Smith, with Turner also endorsing Budish for county executive along with FitzGerald. Reid has  some suburban mayoral endorsements and law enforcement types for his bid for county executive next year, and Smith, the only Black and only female to announce a run for county executive, is endorsed 
by state Rep. Bill Patmon (D-10), and a handful of Black  east side Cleveland councilpersons, excluding Pruitt,  to date.