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Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson endorses Kevin Kelley as his successor

"I am confident that, as Mayor, Kevin Kelley will continue to lead with integrity and put the best interests of Clevelanders first.”

CLEVELAND — Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley has picked up a key endorsement in his bid to become the city's next mayor. It comes from the man who currently holds the office. 

On Wednesday, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, who is retiring after serving four terms in city hall, gave his endorsement for Kelley to be his successor.

“I have worked with Kevin for more than 20 years and during this time, he has made hard decisions. Those decisions weren’t always in his own political interest, but they were the right decisions for the people of Cleveland,” said Jackson in a statement. “His decisions have helped position Cleveland for the future and are motivated by the need to continue to make our neighborhoods stronger and safer. I am confident that, as Mayor, Kevin Kelley will continue to lead with integrity and put the best interests of Clevelanders first.”

Kelley has been a member of Cleveland City Council since 2005, representing Ward 13. He became council president in 2014. 

“I am honored by Mayor Jackson’s endorsement. He has served this city with integrity and is a true public servant,” Kelley said. “He has laid a strong foundation on which we can build a more prosperous and more equitable Cleveland.”

As 3News' Mark Naymik points out, the endorsement of Kelley by Jackson may make it easier for the six other candidates, especially Dennis Kucinich, to tag Kelley as 'co-mayor.'

“Kevin is a true Clevelander. He grew up here, overcoming the loss of his father and the family home to foreclosure,” said Mayor Jackson. “When he was a social worker, he worked in Cleveland’s neighborhoods, helping people through their crises. The bottom line is that Kevin Kelley is someone who understands Cleveland and knows what it will take to help every neighborhood reach its full potential.”

Cuyahoga County's Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, September 14. The primary is considered non-partisan, with the top two finishers in the race of Cleveland mayor moving on to face each other in the General Election on November 2.

The deadline to register for the Cuyahoga County Primary Election is August 16. Click here for more information.

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