After Jackson: Cleveland's Next Mayor - Episode 10: Winners' Circle

Justin Bibb walks in the 11th Congressional District Labor Day parade in Cleveland. Bibb finished first in the Sept. 14 mayoral primary.
Justin Bibb walks in the 11th Congressional District Labor Day parade in Cleveland. Bibb finished first in the Sept. 14 mayoral primary. [Nick Castele / Ideastream Public Media]
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The next mayor of the city of Cleveland will be one of two people: Political newcomer Justin Bibb or City Council President Kevin Kelley.

Bibb won commanding victories in wards that cover Downtown and the Near West Side. But he also held his own in wards across the city. All told, he brought in 27 percent of the citywide vote, according to unofficial results.

Meanwhile, at the Harp, an Irish pub in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood on the West Side, Kevin Kelley thanked his supporters for helping him win a spot on the November ballot.

Kelley won a resounding victory in Ward 13, the Old Brooklyn neighborhood, which he represents on council. He won Ward 17, the West Park neighborhood. In all, he won 19 percent of the voters.

Now, Kelley and Bibb have less than two months to solidify their support across Cleveland and win in November.

Dennis Kucinich finished third in last night’s primary. The results dashed his hopes of returning to the office he held for two tumultuous years in the late 1970s.

At the end of the night, at Caffe Roma on West 130th and Lorain Avenue, Kucinich gave a brief concession speech.

Meanwhile, on the East Bank of the Flats, the 2017 runner up, Zack Reed, acknowledged his defeat with a fourth-place finish.

Ward 7 Councilman Basheer Jones devoted his campaign to trying to bring new voters into Cleveland politics, younger people from neighborhoods like Hough which he represents. He finished fifth, but said his coalition would still have a role to play.

In the Larchmere neighborhood, State Sen. Sandra Williams spoke with family and supporters at the Academy Tavern. She would have been the first Black woman elected mayor.

Turnout exceeded the 2017 numbers, but not by too much. About 39,000 Clevelanders cast ballots, a turnout rate of approximately 16 percent, according to unofficial results.

We're taking some time off after this episode to regroup and plan our coverage for the general election, but we will be back soon.

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.

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