Cleveland mayoral primary to narrow field to 2 candidates

CLEVELAND (AP) — Voters in Cleveland headed to the polls on Tuesday to narrow a field of seven candidates to two in a race to succeed longtime Democratic Mayor Frank Jackson.

The top two vote-getters in Tuesday’s primary will face off in the Nov. 4 general election. All seven candidates are Democrats.

They include City Council President Kevin Kelley, former Mayor Dennis Kucinich, City Councilman Basheer Jones, State Sen. Sandra Williams, former Councilman Zack Reed, nonprofit executive Justin Bibb and attorney Ross DiBello.

Jackson, 74, is winding down an unprecedented fourth four-year term. He was first elected mayor in 2005.

Kucinich, 74, drew attention as the youngest big-city mayor in the U.S. after his election in 1977. He survived a recall attempt after refusing to sell Cleveland’s municipal power plant, a move that plunged the city into default.

Future Ohio governor and U.S. Senator George Voinovich defeated Kucinich in the 1979 mayor’s race.

Kucinich was elected to the first of his eight congressional terms in 1996. He was defeated in the 2012 Democratic primary by Rep. Marcy Kaptur after Ohio’s congressional districts were redrawn.