After last serving as Mayor of Cleveland 42 years ago, Dennis Kucinich just got a major endorsement from a name familiar to many Clevelanders and Ohioans.
Mary Rose Oakar, former Cleveland area U.S. Representative, has declared her support for Kucinich. The announcement took place at the West Side Market in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood at Noon on Aug. 18.
From WKYC 3News Cleveland:
“The city is in great need of somebody with experience,” Oakar told those assembled in Ohio City. “We have great cultural assets, but we are the poorest city in the country. Our people are suffering from violence and crime, and they need jobs, and you [Dennis] really have access to getting us our needs.”
Kucinich welcomes the endorsement from Oakar:
“Mary Rose is a Cleveland institution,” Kucinich said of her endorsement. “People love Mary Rose Oakar. Why? Because you stood for the people in every office you ever held.”
Both served time part of the U.S. House of Representatives. Oakar was “the first Democratic woman from Ohio to be elected” for a term starting in 1977 and remained in the House until 1993 following a “banking scandal” in 1991 that “led to her pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges for violating election laws.”
Defeating Oakar would be Republican Martin Hoke, though he would be defeated by Kucinich, who served in the seat that Oakar once held from 1997 until 2013.
Oakar also held roles in Cleveland City Council from 1973 to ’76, the Ohio State of Representatives from 2000 to ’02 and the Ohio State Board of Education for a four-year term starting in 2012.
Kucinich was, of course, elected as Mayor of Cleveland and became the “Boy Mayor” at 31-years-old in 1977. He served in that role until 1979 and also had a stint in the Ohio Senate from 1995 to ’97.
Now at age 74, Kucinich once again entered the mayoral election, where he is running against nonprofit executive Justin Bibb, attorney Ross DiBello, Cleveland City Councilman (and former NewsTalk 1490 WERE morning show host) Basheer Jones, Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley, former City Councilman Zack Reed and Ohio state senator Sandra Williams.
Oakar is the latest to endorse a city mayoral candidate after current Mayor Frank G. Jackson endorsed Kelley and former Mayor Michael R. White endorsed Bibb.
The primary election is set for Sept. 14 in Cuyahoga County and the top two mayoral contenders will face-off against each other in the main election on Nov. 2.
Who are voting for in Cleveland’s mayoral election this year?
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Article and Second Video Courtesy of WKYC 3News Cleveland
First Video Courtesy of YouTube and WKYC 3News Cleveland
First Picture Courtesy of Mike Stotts/ WENN
Second Picture Courtesy of Carrie Devorah/ WENN