Cleveland mayoral candidates make final pushes before Election Day

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — With just two days until Election Day, the two candidates vying to be Cleveland’s next mayor are making their final push to voters.

Justin Bibb and Kevin Kelley want to replace current Mayor Frank Jackson who is not running for a fifth term.

Both candidates say they feel good about the chances about being elected Cleveland’s next mayor on Tuesday. Both of them canvassed various neighborhoods as they try to convince voters that they should lead Cleveland for the next four years.

Halloween night, two days before Election Day, both candidates running to become the next mayor of Cleveland hand out candy to eager trick-or-treaters.

City Council president Kevin Kelley and non-profit executive Justin Bibb each say they feel confident about their chances on Tuesday.

“This will be the most important election in Cleveland’s history and we cannot afford to have more the same inside City Hall and our campaign is focused on bringing new energy and fresh ideas to get our city out of this pandemic so we can have an inclusive comeback coming out of COVID-19,” said Bibb.

WJW photo

“Everything is on the ballot Tuesday … your neighborhood’s future, your neighborhood’s safety … when you look at the the difference of the candidates, I’m just gonna ask people to really look at substance over style and look at results over rhetoric,” said Kelley.

Kevin Kelley spent Sunday canvassing neighborhoods, talking to residents. Earlier in the afternoon we caught up with him in Cleveland’s West Park neighborhood.

“Today, we are knocking, we are texting, we are walking, we are calling, we are texting and we are emailing …. we are doing everything we can to get voters out,” said Kelley.

FOX 8 caught up with Justin Bibb Sunday afternoon, visiting local businesses in the Buckeye Shaker community.

“We have a different innovative mission and vision to move our city forward … we’re focused on doing the hard work, re-imagining policing and having more police accountability [a horn honks], thank you,” said Bibb.

The latest poll conducted by Baldwin Wallace shows Justin Bibb ahead of Kevin Kelley by nine points.

“I would encourage you, if you’re putting any faith in that, to look at their primary poll that had Dennis Kucinich winning and another person that is not with us today, is not in the primary,” said Kelley.

“The only poll that matters is the poll that we see on Election Day,” said Bibb. “That’s why we’ve been knocking on doors all weekend, calling voters, texting voters, making sure we spread the message about our campaign and why Cleveland can’t wait for a new leader in this mayor’s race.”

Both candidates say crime is the number one issue Clevelanders care about.

Their biggest difference is Issue 24, which would give more power to a civilian review board to address police misconduct.

“The only thing we can do to make it worse would be to pass Issue 24 to defund the police and to take resources out of neighborhood safety programs and give it to an unelected group of political appointees who have more power than the mayor of the city of Cleveland,” said Kelley.

“Without trust between police and residents, we don’t have safety,” Bibb said. “That’s why I support Issue 24, because I believe it’s a good step in the right direction to restore trust in police and residents and again this is not about defunding the police, this is about making sure our residents have equal justice under the law that they deserve.”

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