And then there were two who would be Mayor. Cleveland voters have decided which two mayoral candidates will vie for the top spot next month. One is a political veteran with years of experience, the other is an attorney who's never held elected office. 90.3 WCPN's Janet Babin reports on the primary election for mayor of Cleveland.
Janet Babin- The numbers for County Commissioner Jane Campbell and attorney Raymond Pierce were close all night, but unofficial results show Campbell with about one thousand more votes than Pierce. About 300 supporters fill the Euclid avenue union hall where she celebrated her victory.
Supporters- We want Jane, We want Jane...
JB- Campbell stressed that the victory was only a partial one.
Jane Campbell- We have a long way to go, and thank you for signing on for five more weeks.
JB- At times, Campbell spoke as if she already were mayor, urging the crowd to welcome supporters of the other nine candidates with open arms into the Campbell camp.
She called city councilmen Mike O'Malley and Joe Cimperman to join her on the stage, and emphasized that cooperation with the legislative arm of government would be a hallmark of her administration. Campbell also thanked the black ministers who supported her, including Reverend Otis Moss.
Otis Moss- This candidate, from her childhood to her womanhood, has been on the right side of the debate. I think you should say Amen.
JB- While her night began with a moment of silence for the victims of the September 11th attacks, it ended with a raucous upbeat roar:
When I say Jane, you say Campbell, Jane!
At the Pierce campaign celebration downtown, nearly 400 ecstatic supporters were joined by Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones and other prominent black leaders in cheering on their candidate.
Pierce credited the popular Congresswoman with rallying voters to his side.
Raymond Pierce- Stephanie campaigned hard for me and it made a difference in the campaign.
JB- Pierce attempted to talk about the issues he'd highlight during the next month, but seemed to need a day to digest all that had happened to him.
RP- Yes, Education will be very important in the campaign, but let me get some sleep first. Let's talk tomorrow.
JB- Voter turnout was higher than election officials predicted, with about 40% of the city's registered voters coming to the polls. Board of Elections Director Tom Jelepis says the day went smoothly.
Tom Jelepis- The primary election went smoothly except for a few bumps that had to do with repolling.
JB- But former Congresswoman Mary Rose Oakar, who came in third with just over 15,000 votes, says many people on the West side had trouble figuring out where to vote.
Mary Rose Oakar- I think someone should look into the Board of Elections actions. Some voters told me they had to drive a mile to another polling location.
JB- Oakar says she hasn't decided whether to endorse another candidate. County Commissioner Tim McCormack came in fourth with more than 12,000 votes. All other candidates received less than 3% of the vote. Campbell and Pierce have just over one month to convince voters to choose them in the general election. In Cleveland, Janet Babin, 90.3 WCPN News.