Wednesday, May 7, 2014

No May 6 Democratic primary upsets for Cuyahoga County, Ohio, FitzGerald, Budish win, state Representatives Barnes Jr, Patmon win primary with no general election opponents, sin tax passes, Yuko and state Representative Williams win Democratic primary for state senate seats, Cleveland Councilman Martin Sweeney, former Cleveland councilwoman Stephanie Howse, Smith, Cleveland Heights Councilwoman Janine Boyd win primary for state representative seats, Shontel Brown wins primary for seat now held by Cuyahoga County Council President C. Ellen Connally and faces Republican Adam Trumbo in November, Judge Anita Laster Mays beats Judge Corrigan for appeals seat in primary and faces no general election opponent, Francine 'Frankie' Goldberg advances to general election for a domestic relations judge seat and faces a Republican opponent

By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief
Kathy Wray Coleman is  a community activist and 20 year investigative journalist who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio
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CLEVELAND, Ohio- There were no upsets in Tuesday's Democratic primary election in Cuyahoga County with front-runner Armond Budish running away with the race for county executive while incumbent state Reps. John Barnes Jr and Bill Patmon held on to their seats, Patmon beating former Cleveland Councilman Eugene Miller two to one after an aggressive campaign and Barnes edging Pepper Pike Councilwoman Jill Miller Zimon 6, 489 votes to 5,575 votes. No Republican or anyone-else filed to run either in state legislative district 10, which Patmon leads, or in Barnes' legislative district 12.

Miller, Barnes and Patmon are all three Black.

Unofficial results from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections reflect a relatively boring election, one overshadowed by the media coverage of the one-year anniversary of the rescue and escape of Ariel Castro survivors Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald did not seek reelection to county executive and as widely predicted, he trounced Ken Gray, who is Black, unemployed, and had never held public office, with FitzGerald's gubernatorial ticket winning with 83 percent of the Democratic primary vote.

FitzGerald and his Lt Gov running mate, Attorney Sharon Neuhardt, will take on Gov John Kasich  and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor in the November election in what political pundits say will be a closely watched race as the 2016 presidential race looms and Ohio remains a pivotal state.

And in other closely watched races Tuesday night the sin tax that extends the tax on cigarettes and alcohol for 20 more years to help fund professional sports stadiums upkeep and at a price tag of some $270 million passed as expected, another win for Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, who won reelection to a third four year term last year by a landslide against millionaire businessman Ken Lanci. And the Black mayor of the majority Black major American city convinced Cleveland voters a year earlier to pass a 15 mill schools tax levy, the largest remembered in decades in Northeast Ohio.

Voters of the heavily Democratic county, the largest of 88 counties state wide which is 29 percent Black,  approved the sin tax measure 56 percent to 44 percent, which opponents say is a tax on the poor that overburdens small business owners.

Term limited State Sen Shirley Smith, who is Black, came in a distant second for the county executive contest followed by Tim Russo, and fired former county sheriff Bob Reid, also a former Bedford city manager.

A former state Rep and minority leader out of Beachwood, Budish had the county Democratic party endorsement and a campaign war chest of nearly $600,000, over five times the amount of all of the other five candidates combined, and it showed on election night. He faces Republican Jack Schron in November, a member of county council

Budish , 60, who had key endorsements , including FitzGerald and Congresspersons Marcia Fudge and Marcia Kaptur, both with no opposition on Tuesday,  walked away with 56, 093 votes to Smith's 20, 240 votes. The rest was history in the six- way race and Budish garnered over double the votes of the other five candidates combined, a race that, in addition to Smith,  Reid and Russo,  also includes former North Olmstead Mayor Thomas O'Grady and Walter Allen Rogers Jr., a local artist.

Kent Smith won the Democratic primary for the state legislative district eight seat now held by Budish with no Republican in that race in November. 

State Rep Sandra Williams, also Black,  won the Democratic nod to replace Smith in Ohio senate district 21, and former state Rep. Kenny Yuko beat former state Rep. Ed Jerse and Bedford Heights Councilman Thadeus Jackson to win the Democratic primary for the state senate district 25 seat. Jackson is Black.

The state senate seat in district 25 is held now by state Sen. Nina Turner, who will face incumbent Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted in November. Yuko and Williams face Republican write-in candidates, whose chances of winning are slim to none. If she wins Turner would be the first Black Democrat to win statewide office in Ohio.

Former Cleveland councilwoman Stephanie Howse, whose mother Annie Key is a former state Rep, won the state district 11 seat held by Williams. And Cleveland Heights Councilwoman Janine Boyd won in district nine to replace her mother, the term limited state Rep. Barbara Boyd. Neither Howse nor Boyd, both Black, faces an opponent in November.

Former Cleveland City Council President Martin Sweeney, still on city council representing ward 16 on Cleveland's largely White west side but seeking to become a state lawmaker rather than a city lawmaker, won the Democratic primary for state house district 14 with 38 percent of the vote, topping Steve Holecko, who followed in second place, and Mike Piepsny. He faces Republican Anna Melendez in November.

For Cuyahoga County Council seats at issue Shontel Brown won the Democratic primary for district nine as county County Council President C. Ellen Connally decided not to seek reelection. Both Brown and Connally are Black, and Connally is one of four Blacks on the largely Democratic 11-member county council, all four of whom are Democrats. County Councilwoman Yvonne Conwell won without opposition and faces no general election opponent and county council members Pernel Jones Jr. and Anthony Hairston, the other two of the four Blacks, are not up for reelection.

Brown will face Republican Adam Trumbo in November.

Trumbo, like Brown, is Black, and is a son of former Cleveland Municipal Court Judge George Trumbo and retired Eighth District Appellate Court Judge Sara Harper.

In judicial races closely watched, Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Anita Laster Mays won the Democratic primary for a seat on the Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals against the powerful Corrigan name, beating Common Pleas Judge Brian Corrigan after winning the county Democratic party endorsement. 

Mays, who is Black and sits on the 13-member predominantly Black Cleveland Municipal Court bench,  faces no opponent in November. When she joins the state appeals bench of Cuyahoga County's eighth district she will join three other Blacks on the nine-member state appellate court bench,  including Judge Melody Stewart, who is not up for reelection, and Judges Patricia Ann Blackmon and Larry Jones, both running for reelection this year without opposition.

Former longtime assistant county prosecutor Francine 'Frankie' Goldberg of University Heights out did John McIntyre on Tuesday to win the Democratic primary. She faces Republican Janet Rath Colaluca in November.

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