CLEVELAND - Tuesday's election resulted in several big changes on Cleveland City Council, as some council members step down and other incumbents were narrowly defeated. If unofficial results stand, there could be five new council members taking office in January.
Businessman Kevin Bishop was elected to fill the Ward 2 seat left vacant by Councilman Zack Reed's run for mayor. Reed said he's unsure of what is next for him, but he's committed to staying public service and will continue to talk about issues raised by his campaign.
"We're on Council until January 1st, and we'll figure it out from there," Reed told reporters after a concession speech Tuesday. "At the beginning, no one was talking about public safety. The mayor wasn't talking about hiring police. Now he's not only talking about hiring new police, he's talking about putting on five new cadet classes next year, so we at least had an impact from that standpoint."
Councilman Jeff Johnson's seat was left open by his unsuccessful bid in the mayoral primary. The Ward 10 seat was won by Cuyahoga County Councilperson Anthony Hairston.
"I knew I could always be involved in the public sector without necessarily being in public office," Johnson said, saying he doesn't regret his decision to run in the primary.
Johnson, a lawyer, said he plans to do more work for his nonprofit and political consultant firm.
"Whether I go for another political office is still on the table, but I'm the co-founder of the Glenville Collinwood Community Foundation, and I want to be more involved with that because the northeast part of Cleveland has significantly declined."
Unofficial results showed Ward 1 Terrell Pruitt was defeated by former councilman Joe Jones by just nine votes, which could trigger a recount. Jones pleaded guilty to mail fraud in a 2005 corruption scandal, but a judge has since expunged his record.
In Ward 7, unofficial results showed Basheer Jones defeated incumbent TJ Dow by 19 votes.
Jasmin Santana appeared poised to become the first Hispanic woman elected to council by defeating Ward 14 Councilman Brian Cummins. She's bilingual in English and Spanish and has worked for nonprofits serving minority communities.
All Cleveland City Council members are elected to four-year terms beginning in January.