Sam Allard / Scene
City Council President Blaine Griffin and Mayor Justin Bibb, outside the Justice Center.
Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin says his name was included in error on a flyer announcing a fundraiser for Republican Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted to be held in East Cleveland Wednesday evening.
Griffin's name was listed alongside a number of East Cleveland politicians, including Mayor Brandon King, who is facing a recall election in November, and City Council President Nathanial Martin. But Griffin, who said he misunderstood the nature of the gathering — he thought it was a meeting, not a fundraiser — says he will not be attending and has demanded "corrective action."
"I did not and will not agree to serve on any political host committee for Governor DeWine," Griffin said in a statement. "Any suggestion I have endorsed or will endorse the Republican Governor is an error I am working to correct immediately. Let me be clear: I have endorsed Nan Whaley for Governor and continue to unabashedly support both her ticket and all statewide Democratic ticket members."
Griffin said that as the leader of Cleveland's legislative body, one of his jobs is working with others, including elected leaders across the aisle, to "build bridges" in an effort to secure resources for Cleveland. Among the planned topics of conversation at the fundraiser are economic development and broadband access. Griffin told Ideastream's Nick Castele, and later confirmed independently with Scene, that Brandon King, not DeWine or anyone from his camp, invited him to attend. He said he was looking forward to discussing, among other things, a 33-acre development project
with more than 200 properties assembled by the Cuyahoga Land Bank near University Circle.
A spokeswoman for the DeWine-Husted campaign told Scene that she was actively working to track down information on would have further clarity on the situation later in the day.
The fundraiser will be held at Jackie's Party Center & Catering in East Cleveland from 5 - 6:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $300 for individuals to $13,000 for host committee chairs.
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