City Council Primaries: Zack Reed Wins in a Landslide


Raise your hand if you thought Zack Reed's third DUI in eight years would have at least some adverse effect on his chances in the Ward 2 primaries. Now look at the results of yesterday's votes, below, to see if it did.

Pretty stunning, huh? I mean Reed may as well have been running unopposed. In Ward 2, he garnered better than 80 percent of all votes cast. His closest challenger, Marcus Henley, a 26-year-old substitute teacher whose qualifications literally include a "tremendous love for animals," collected about 8 percent. The only other ward primary with a vote total more skewed was Ward 9, where incumbent Kevin Conwell cruised to almost unanimous victory. He'll be going against runner-up Randy Willis in November's election, an opponent who tallied 55 total votes yesterday.

Reed told the PD's Leila Atassi that he was "humbled and elated" by the results, and said he spoke with residents who promised they wouldn't let Reed's drinking problem interfere with their perceptions of him as a hardworking public official.

In a phone interview with Scene before a Ward 2 debate last month, Reed suggested that his opponents were newcomers to politics and seriously underqualified for the rigors of public service — he couldn't even remember one of their names. He assumed they were trying to take advantage of his DUI's publicity to bolster their own campaigns.

"They just want to go after my character," said Reed. "That's all this is."

The results yesterday clearly indicate that Reed's history and relationships in Ward 2 are much more important — at least to residents — than a highly publicized drinking problem. (More on this to come).

Another candidate who has been in the news — not only for drinking but for his alliance with Council Prez Martin Sweeney — finished second in the new Ward 10 primaries. The winner, Jeff Johnson, chose to run against the mouthy Miller instead of Ward 9 hero Conwell (much to the frustration of Sweeney). Johnson and Miller will square off in the November election in one of the only races that should resemble a competition.

I mean is anyone waiting with bated breath to learn the outcome of the Jackson/Lanci bout? Of course not.

One more note: The race was tight in Ward 14, home to the city's only Hispanic voting bloc, but incumbent Brian Cummins will face another white guy named Brian in the November election, "husband and father" Brian Kazy. Both of the Latino candidates fell short.

Here are yesterday's results. It should be obvious, but winners are in bold; runners-up are italicized.

Cleveland Council - Ward 2
Marcus Henley: 85
Stan T. Owens: 22
Zack Reed: 904
Rodney White: 72

Cleveland Council - Ward 3
Joe Cimperman: 640
Carrie J. Kurutz: 239
Jeff Mixon: 105

Cleveland Council - Ward 4
Ervin Dewitt Aniton: 130
Kenneth L. Johnson Sr.: 982
Sikiru Kafaru: 103

Cleveland Council - Ward 6
John A. Boyd: 236
Wanda J. Hill-Chestnut: 185
Mamie J. Mitchell: 603

Cleveland Council - Ward 7
W. Lewis Britt: 51
TJ Dow: 792
Rhonda L. Hills: 17
Stephanie Howse: 342
Basheer Jones: 441
Tony Perry: 23

Cleveland Council - Ward 9
Kevin Conwell: 903
Keith Hatten: 46
Randy L. Willis: 55

Cleveland Council - Ward 10
Teresa Floyd: 53
Jeff Johnson: 808
Eugene R. Miller: 574
Donna M. Walker-Brown: 35

Cleveland Council - Ward 13
Joe Gigante: 389
Kevin Kelley: 819
Franklin J. Meslovich: 51

Cleveland Council - Ward 14
Nelson Cintron Jr: 192
Brian Cummins: 321
Janet Garcia: 248
Brian Kazy: 267

About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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