Frank Jackson and Zack Reed Win Top Spots in Mayoral Primary

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Cleveland voters have sent Mayor Frank Jackson and Councilman Zack Reed on to November’s general election. The two men took the top spots in Tuesday’s primary.

The results, which haven’t yet been certified by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, pit the three-term mayor against one of his most persistent critics on city council.

Jackson won about 39 percent of the vote, while Reed trailed him with about 22 percent.

Councilman Jeff Johnson fell short of making the general election ballot, receiving 15 percent of the primary vote. Johnson endorsed Reed in his concession speech. 

Brandon Chrostowski, the founder of EDWINS restaurant, came in fourth with about 9 percent. He said he doesn’t see himself supporting either Jackson or Reed in the general election.

The mayor’s victory speech Tuesday night was characteristically brief: words of thanks to the campaign and a reminder that it’s not over yet.

“Now, to get four more years, we got two more months to go,” Jackson told his supporters.

Councilman Zack Reed talks with reporters at an event in June this year. [Nick Castele / ideastream]

Reed now has eight weeks of campaigning before the general election to close the gap with Jackson.

“The voters of the city of Cleveland spoke loud and clear,” Reed said at his election night party. “They want a new mayor.”

Reed has focused on public safety, promising to hire several hundred more police officers and increase foot patrols. After the results were in, he vowed to campaign citywide.

“We’re not going to be an east side mayor, we’re not going to be a west side mayor, we’re not going to be a downtown mayor, we’re going to be a mayor for the entire city of Cleveland,” he said.

For his part, Jackson said his administration has taken steps to address public safety. The city’s budget funds dozens of new police positions.

Asked if he needs a new message this time around, Jackson said he won’t change just to pick up votes.

“I tell the truth. I tell the truth. I don’t just develop stuff just for the moment. I don’t do that,” Jackson said. “So I just don’t just pull something out of the air trying to get a vote here or there.”

Jackson faced eight challengers, plus two write-ins.

With reporting by Matt Richmond and Annie Wu.

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