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3News' Russ Mitchell moderates virtual Cleveland mayoral town hall with Justin Bibb and Kevin Kelley

The virtual town hall was presented by the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP and the Urban League of Greater Cleveland. It was held at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

CLEVELAND — With three weeks to go until the city of Cleveland selects a new mayor, the two candidates took part in a town hall event on Wednesday evening..

3News anchor and managing editor Russ Mitchell moderated the virtual "Cleveland Town Hall," featuring mayoral candidates Justin Bibb and Kevin Kelley. The event was presented by the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP and the Urban League of Greater Cleveland and took place at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Mitchell served as moderator in front of a small, socially distanced audience for the town hall. 3News viewers watching on our digital platforms also had an opportunity to submit questions.

As was the case in previous debates and town halls, the two candidates were at their liveliest talking about Issue 24, the proposed amendment to the city’s charter that would shift oversight of the police department – including policy and discipline of officers - to a civilian-led board and commission.

Kelley opposes the issue, while Bibb supports it. Kelley believes that if the proposed amendment passes next month, hundreds of Cleveland police officers will choose to leave their positions. 

Bibb, whose father was a police officer, took offense to that statement. "It's insulting to me as the son of a cop to say that my dad would not want to work for a department that values accountability and values good policing."

You can watch full coverage of the town hall in the player below:

According to a new poll conducted by Baldwin Wallace University's Community Research Institute, Justin Bibb holds a nine-percentage-point advantage over Kevin Kelley with just three weeks to go before election day. Bibb, the business and nonprofit executive, was the top choice of 34.5% of respondents. That compared to 24.9% for Kelley, the current Cleveland city council president. However, 40% of residents said they were still undecided.

The results of the survey represent a slight bump for Bibb, who won last month's primary election with 27% of the vote, eight points ahead of second-place finisher Kelley. The 34-year-old also holds a 16-point lead among the city's Black voters (34%-18%) as well as a 10-point margin among other minorities such as Hispanic and Asian Americans (34%-24%). He and Kelley are virtually neck-and-neck (35%-32%) among the city's white voters.

More coverage of the Cleveland mayoral election: