CLEVELAND - The gloves are off in the race for Cleveland's next mayor.
Incumbent Frank Jackson is dredging up Zack Reed's past DUI convictions for a radio ad running during this homestretch to November 7.
Reed says Jackson is running scared.
Zack Reed has always been forthcoming about his past DUI's. He's also been clear in saying he's sober now. He says it's past time to let it go.
After all, he points out, his first DUI was when Mayor Jackson was still a councilman.
DUI is the ammunition behind the Jackson campaign bringing out the big guns in reminding voters that Reed has had 3.
The Frank Jackson for re-election ads are running on 4 Radio One Network stations in Cleveland. They are stations that have large African American audiences.
The ad says, “What do we really know about Zack Reed? Zack has done zero for Cleveland and Reed was arrested and jailed for multiple DUI's. That's really not safe."
A blatant jab at Reed’s “Safety First” campaign.
Reed’s response boils down to 2 words. "It's desperate," said Reed.
“He now pulls out a desperation move at the last minute when he knows he's in desperate trouble," Reed adds.
Jackson’s campaign spokesman, Joe Mosbrook counters in defending the ad saying “The fact Reed has had THREE DUIs we think speaks more to his character and his judgment," said Mosbrook.
"4 years ago when I was in the middle of my DUI, he supported me. Frank Jackson endorsed me. Now 4 years later when I'm clean and sober, now I'm suddenly the bad guy?" Reed asks.
Mosbrook speaking for Jackson says, “We understand that. We stand behind him in that effort but we don't think Zack Reed is ready to be mayor of Cleveland."
Reed fires back that Jackson turning up the heat may be a sign Jackson is feeling the heat himself.
"He didn't even win his own ward and now 4 years later he brings up this from the past?," says an irritated Reed.
Reed's ad puts the NO ACTION spin on the "Frank Jackson Action You Can Trust" campaign. His ad says, “Zack Reed knows about safety first. He has a plan to make Cleveland safe again."
That is just hypocritical according to the Jackson campaign, and why they took the gloves off.
"3 DUI's is a pattern. History is the best indicator of the future," said Mosbrook.
Reed still contending the fact they are running the ads proves Jackson is running scared.
"Every one of my ads is hittin’ him and it's hittin’ him hard as it relates to public safety in the city of Cleveland," says Reed.
The Reed ad has a police officer saying, “Today, Cleveland is a nightmare as children aren't safe in their own homes, schools, playgrounds."
“This election is not about the past. It’s about the future,” said Reed.
Cleveland voters have the ultimate say on November 7th.
A fourth term for Mayor Frank Jackson, or a first for Councilman Zack Reed, who seemed to shore up the "looking for something new vote" in the primary.
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