Dennis Kucinich leads early poll in Cleveland mayoral race

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich is an early frontrunner in the race for Cleveland mayor, according to a poll from Baldwin Wallace University.

The university’s community research institute conducted the poll of 421 Cleveland residents by phone from March 15 to April 29. Of those, 48 percent were unsure about their choice for mayor.

Those who made a choice preferred Kucinich at 17.8 percent. He was followed by Cleveland City Councilman Basheer Jones at 13.3 percent, former councilman Zach Reed at 8.8 percent and Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley at 5.9 percent.

“If the electorate is seeking new leadership for Cleveland, candidates will need to work hard to raise their public profiles,” said Dr. Tom Sutton. “This is a challenge in a local election with voter turnout rates of 30 percent. Long-time names in Cleveland politics get high name recognition, but this does not translate into electoral support at this early stage of the mayoral campaigns.” 

Kucinich, who served as Cleveland’s mayor from 1977 to 1979 when he was in his early 30s, leads the candidates with highest familiarity at 78 percent, according to the poll.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announced on Thursday he would not seek a fifth term. Other candidates officially in the race include State Sen. Sandra Williams.

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