Candidates Kevin Kelly and Justin Bibb gave to the city folks their final debate, before the elections scheduled for early November. The voter turnout is expected to be lukewarm, mostly due to the pandemic. Even though the term of election is 4 years, not much buzz has caught on, on social media or other digital platforms.
Kelley has fired attacks on Bibb’s position on matters such as crime, and especially Issue 24 – a city charter amendment referendum that would create a civilian review board for police oversight. Opposing the same, Kelley has maintained a very Republican position on the same, as he believes in ‘defunding the police’. A statement popularly used by former President Trump.
This might help swing things in favor of Kelley (Vice-chair of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party). Statistically, Cleveland has seen a higher rate of violent crimes in recent years.
Bibb countered Kelley, arguing that homicides have gone up three folds under Kelley’s stint as Council President, and shares that he is a son of a cop and firefighter. He defends his position on Issue 24 as well, that the citizens must be involved in the process of a democratic society’s functioning. He shed light on police having brutalized civilian Black men, and minors.
Both candidates seem to have a distinct approach, to catering to the voters, Kelley on one hand can be seen actively spending time in white neighborhoods on the west side of the city. There he is expected to have a strong voter base, such as West Park.
Bibb on the other hand seems to have a more panoramic approach, where he is covering all his bases trying to amass votes through events. He is also focusing on endorsement more than his counterpart. such as former Cleveland City Council President Martin J. Sweeney, former Mayors themselves. He also managed to gather the support of state Sen. Sandra Williams and former Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed.
Early voting runs through Nov. 1 at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections and Election Day voting commences at 6:30 a.m. Nov. 2 and shall continue to 7:30 p.m. Those queued up by 7:30 p.m. are legally permitted to vote.