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Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is retiring, and for the first time in 16 years, City Hall is getting a new leader. What do the seven candidates offer? What do voters want? Host Nick Castele goes on the campaign trail in "After Jackson: Cleveland's Next Mayor" from Ideastream Public Media. Follow: Spotify | iTunes | Stitcher | Feed

After Jackson: Cleveland's Next Mayor - Episode 13: The Debate

Justin Bibb argued for a new perspective at City Hall while Kevin Kelley argued for the value of experience. [Michaelangelo's Photography]
Justin Bibb & Kevin Kelley

Since the summer, the mayoral hopefuls have been tumbling through an obstacle course of candidate forums.

But this week, Justin Bibb and Kevin Kelley met for their big debate of the general election, hosted by Ideastream Public Media and the City Club of Cleveland.

We wanted to get the candidates off their talking points and engaging with one another.

In these extended excerpts from the debate, the candidates show how they are pitching themselves – and how they’re criticizing each other.

We start with crime and public safety, specifically, Issue 24, the charter amendment which would turn the Community Police Commission from an advisory body into one with disciplinary and investigative powers.

Crain's Cleveland Business Executive Editor Elizabeth McIntyre and Cleveland Documenters Field Coordinator Lawrence Daniel Caswell asked the candidates questions about Hopkins and Burke Lakefront airports, funding for the arts and more. [Michaelangelo's Photography]

A mom and son's hopes for the next mayor

Cleveland’s next mayor will take office in a city full of people who worry about the safety and basic well-being of their children. Those core concerns speak to many of the issues the candidates have talked about – policing, schools, jobs.

Sixteen-year-old Jermale Tisdale and his mom Linyana Lane talk about what the city's next mayor can do for their future.

Linyana Lane says she encouraged her son Jermale Tisdale to get a summer job to learn the value of a dollar. [Jenny Hamel / Ideastream Public Media]

Follow “After Jackson: Cleveland's Next Mayor” on NPR One, iTunes or on your favorite podcast platform. Or catch it every Wednesday at 9 a.m. on the “Sound of Ideas” on 90.3 WCPN.

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.