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Candidates for Cuyahoga County Executive Gauge Support Before Start of 2014 Election Year

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 7:05 PM

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State Rep. Armond Budish speaks after being endorsed by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, behind. (Nick Castele/ideastream)

The head of Cuyahoga County’s largest municipality has taken a side in next year’s race for county executive. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson says he’s backing State Rep. Armond Budish to succeed Ed FitzGerald in the job. Ideastream’s Nick Castele reports.

Mayor Frank Jackson says as Armond Budish. as Ohio House speaker and later minority leader, helped him make headway on the plan to transform Cleveland’s public schools.

“Mr. Budish is concerned about people, is concerned about education, is concerned about creating an economic region as opposed to just individual silos of economic activity,” Jackson said.

Budish already has the support of the current county executive Ed FitzGerald, who is running for governor. When FitzGerald ran for executive three years ago, Jackson endorsed one of his Democratic opponents, Terri Hamilton Brown.

Also supporting Budish are the area’s two Democratic members of Congress, Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Marcia Fudge.

Other candidates seeking the Democratic nomination include former county sheriff Bob Reid.  He has backing from the Cleveland police union and the mayors of 15 Cleveland suburbs, among others.

And candidate State Sen. Shirley Smith has lined up support from a number of Cleveland and East Cleveland city council members, as well as County Councilwoman Yvonne Conwell and the president of the East Cleveland school board, Dr. Una Keenon.

But in a phone call, Smith said this race shouldn’t be about endorsements, but rather about who can best improve the stakes of those who live in the county, especially the working poor. Bob Reid said in a call that voters should look to his experience as an administrator.

On the Republican side, County Councilman Jack Schron is exploring a bid for county executive—and raising money for it. And Tanner Fischbach, a 19-year-old from Berea, also says he plans to run.

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