Richmond Heights Election News: Town Welcomes Congressman Clyburn; Henry alone as candidate for council president
RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Ohio – Although it is early August, there is a lot of election news unfolding in the city.
The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections’ petition deadline was Wednesday, August 4, one day after a congressional special primary election was held. In that special election, Shontel Brown defeated Nina Turner for the right to be the Democratic candidate in the November ballot for the post of representative of the 11th Congressional District. Brown will be opposed by Republican Laverne Gore.
A special election was needed to fill the vacancy when President Joe Biden appointed former U.S. Representative Marcia Fudge earlier this year to become director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Because the election took place a day before the petition deadline, the Election Board is behind schedule in verifying some of these filings.
Ward 1 councilor Kim Thomas, mayoral candidate on November 2, had her petitions checked. Former Ward 1 Councilor Barry Hurst, whom Thomas defeated in the 2019 Ward 1 election, failed to do so. When reached by phone Thursday August 5, Hurst said he filed his petitions by the August 4 deadline and was told by a representative from the electoral board that verifying his petitions likely would not be finished before next week. . Hurst said he would not speak about his candidacy until after the verification was completed.
Thomas, meanwhile, was busy heading into Tuesday’s primary supporting Brown. Thomas, a member of the state executive of the Ohio Democratic Party who served as Biden’s 2020 delegate, brought a well-known member of Congress to Richmond Heights.
“I brought (Rep. Of the United States) James Clyburn (D-South Carolina) to Richmond Heights,” said Thomas. “He is the third highest member of Congress. We had a community conversation for Shontel Brown, who just won and who will be our next MP. I took (Brown) to the meeting on Rushmore (Road).
Clyburn has been credited with boosting Biden’s campaign in early 2020 by endorsing the future president ahead of South Carolina’s presidential primary election. The Rushmore Road meet was held on Saturday (July 31) between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
“The neighbors came out and we just had (the meeting) in a dead end and discussed why we had to bring Shontel to Congress,” Thomas said. Just over 100 people attended the event. Thomas said she arranged for Clyburn’s visit to follow a stop the congressman made in Euclid the day before with Democratic District 8 state representative Kent Smith. Smith, Cuyahoga County Councilor for District 11 Sunny Simon, and other elected officials were in attendance with residents at the Richmond Heights event.
Thomas said she and Brown were longtime friends. “I have always stayed in close contact with her,” Thomas said. “I helped her in her campaign. We support each other.
Thomas was with Brown on his election night at A Touch of Italy restaurant in Bedford Heights, during which Brown received a congratulatory call from Biden.
Election of the Chairman of the Board
Council chair Eloise Henry was expected to face challenges this fall from Richmond Heights Education Council member Bobby Jordan and Ward 3 Councilor Cassandra Nelson.
Nelson, however, pulled out of the race last week. In an SMS response to cleveland.com, Nelson said, “I just don’t have the time to commit to a successful campaign right now. My family is my first priority. Nelson wished Henry and Jordan the best.
However, the board of elections ruled on Thursday that Jordan’s petitions had failed to meet the required number of signatures to make him a candidate. He was missing 10 signatures of registered voters out of the 150 needed to go to the polls.
On Thursday, Jordan explained, “On the back of a petition you have to add up the number of signatures you have and basically my number was off by one. Instead of having 20, I wrote 19, and it turned the whole sheet upside down. Jordan said such an error occurred on two petitions.
Jordan collected 180 signatures in total, but errors on both sheets erased all signatures on those two petitions, giving him only 140 valid signatures.
“I can’t even explain the level of disappointment,” Jordan said. “But I must continue to support this city and others who are running for office. It just wasn’t meant to be for me.
Jordan, 56, is in his 11th year with the school board and his term expires at the end of that year. He said he would support Thomas for mayor and would like to run for a city council job in the future.
Henry, who has been chairman of the board since 2014, said she would campaign as if she had an opponent.
“I had planned to run for office this year, so I will continue with this goal,” she said. “I will continue to go out and meet people this summer. I was committed to doing it so that people would continue to see me even if I had no opposition. I will campaign without a competitor.
Henry, who plans to start knocking on residents’ doors next week, said she has a lot of supporters in the city and believes she owes them to run a campaign.
As for the race for the city’s general council, only outgoing city councilor Juanita Lewis has her signatures declared valid. Outgoing city councilor Daniel Ursu and newcomers Sheena Levy and Alex Harper are still awaiting a word on their signatures. Voters will elect two representatives of the general council in November.
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