CLEVELAND - Several people who want to be the next mayor of Cleveland spoke at a forum Monday night to convince voters why they should be elected. Although current mayor Frank Jackson was missing from the group.
A spokesperson for Mayor Jackson's campaign says he was not invited to the forum. More than twenty people are running to take his job, and six of the attended a candidates' forum.
"There's a number of ways we could improve this city, but it's gonna take somebody who can fight, it's gonna take somebody who can think outside the box and I believe that I am that person," said mayoral candidate and local restaurant CEO Brandon Chrostowski.
Chrostowski is one of six candidates who attended a mayoral candidate forum Monday night, sponsored by the Ward 14 Democratic Club and the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus.
"I want to change city hall, I want to open the door I want to open the windows, I want to get rid of the staleness of twelve years of inappropriate leadership that chooses to put money where it doesn't need to be, and that's in the neighborhood where it need to be, not downtown," said mayoral candidate and current city councilman Jeff Johnson.
Each candidate also responded to audience questions dealing with everything from dealing with lead in homes to improving public transportation.
"I'm not here to be served, I'm here to serve and there are issues in our city that are way too important to play political gamesmanship, there's over 130 individuals that were cut down by violent crime last year and that number is soaring," said mayoral candidate and Ohio City resident Robert Kilo.
"I have covered every mayor as a journalist since Dennis Kucinich, I used to shoot pool with Carl Stokes and I've even covered this particular mayor, so I've got a lot of experience walking in the door day one," said former East Cleveland Mayor Eric Brewer.
Businessman Tony Madalone.
"I see all the trolls on Facebook, I see them and I see them in the editorials on cleveland.com and I think, well, we can talk about it or we can do something, we can change it, so that's why I'm running for mayor," said businessman Tony Madalone.
Cleveland councilman Zach Reed on why he believes the city's population is declining.
"They've moving to Maple Heights, they're moving to the Bedfords...why? because their belief is that it' safer over there, I've got a plan for this, because you cannot have prosperity without safety people," Reed said.
The primary election, which is non-partisan, will take place on September 12th. The two candidates who get the most votes will move on to the general election on November 7th. Current mayor Frank Jackson is vying for his fourth term in office.