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Sam Allard / Scene
Justin Bibb accepts the endorsment of Zack Reed in Mt. Pleasant, (9/29/2021).
Zack Reed, the popular politician of Cleveland's southeast side who was the runner-up in the 2017 mayoral race and the fourth place finisher in the 2021 primary, has endorsed nonprofit executive Justin Bibb in the November general against City Council President Kevin Kelley.
Reed and Bibb both grew up in Mt. Pleasant, and Reed said that he felt like the two men had been on a "collision course" for some time, noting for example that Bibb had taken Reed's goddaughter to prom years ago. Reed said his endorsement, though, was based not only on their personal connections but on their shared values, commitments and vision.
"Justin hasn't offered me anything and he hasn't promised me anything," Reed said, "but after talking to both candidates I came to the conclusion that I must
Reed said that Bibb, like him, understood the seriousness of the problems in Cleveland, from violent crime to the public education system to the woes of seniors who want to live out their days in dignity and peace.
"I'm endorsing Justin because he's convinced me that he has the plans, policies and procedures to deal with these problems."
Bibb said he was honored to accept the endorsement — which will no doubt gain Bibb some supporters in the southeast side neighborhoods where Reed is still beloved — and he applauded Reed's persistence over his many years of public service.
Bibb observed that Reed had long been a lonely voice on Cleveland City Council, fighting for racial equity and economic prosperity in neglected neighborhoods. And while City Council rarely listened to Reed, Bibb said, Cleveland voters should. Bibb also highlighted the importance of both of their Christian upbringings and devotion to Christian values.
"We don't serve a master in this election but one: God almighty," Bibb said. "And it's the failed plantation politics of the past that has gotten Cleveland to this point. Now — not yesterday, not tomorrow — now is the time for bold, new, dynamic, visionary leadership, and Justin Bibb and Zack Reed are going to take this fight to the people."
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