It’s hard to believe it, but by the time the next edition of CoolCleveland hits your in box, we’ll know the results of the presidential election. And yes, despite the media salivating for a rerun of 2000, when the result wasn’t certified for weeks thanks to Florida, chances are excellent we will have the result by the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
In fact, one of the candidates has been openly running for reelection since inauguration day January 20, 2017. And the Democratic primaries launched in July 2017 when John Delaney became the first of what would ultimately be 29 candidates to run, at least briefly. Not that anyone noticed!
While many on the Democratic side are wringing their hands in their usual despair, claiming Biden’s numbers are where Hillary Clinton’s were in 2016 at this time (they’re not), those on the other side are putting up yard displays that rival Halloween displays and hosting car, truck, boat and buggy parades featuring giant flags to “own the libs” and get in people’s faces. “Shy” voters indeed!
While Republicans tried to gin up a transparently phony scandal around Hunter Biden’s something something, most voters have one thing on their minds: the pandemic and how it’s impacting their lives. One candidate is telling you to close your eyes and pretend it’s not there: it’s over and its effect on your job, your business, your kids’ schooling and your health is in your imagination. His White House chief of staff has thrown up his hands in defeat and said “We’re not going to control the pandemic.” The other has already formed a task force already to tackle it, should he be elected, and hopefully bring this nightmare to an eventual end.
Don’t be like former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who, after a harrowing week in the hospital with COVID-19, went “Duh — maybe I should have worn a mask” (and not gone to that superspreader event at the White House). Just do it. And vote for the candidate who recognizes that you and your family are struggling, the first step to addressing it. That’s Joe Biden.
Over the last couple of months, our columnists have written about local candidate/issues they feel are important. Please go back and read some of their columns; we think they’re thoughtful and informative.
Mansfield Frazier shared his thoughts about Hillary O’Connor Mueri aka “Toro,” who is running for congress in District 14 (Lake County and east) against the largely invisible David Joyce. There are three other congressional races in Cuyahoga County — gerrymandering sliced up the county — but none are really competitive. In fact, Marcia Fudge (11th district) won her last race by 60 points and will probably do so again. Marcy Kaptur’s campaign (9th district) apparently feels confident enough, with good reason, that they’re putting up her signs all over the 11th district. Physicist Aaron Godfrey is facing incumbent congressman, former football player Anthony Gonzalez, in the 16th district.
Mansfield also endorsed Cleveland Issue 68, which would increase funding for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. School levies are fraught in these difficult times, but there’s no denying the need.
In the judicial races — which we urge you to learn about and vote in — we strongly support the candidacies of Democrats Jennifer Brunner and John O’Donnell: read why here.
Our political columnist Jenna Thomas wrote about a couple of the local judicial races, interviewing stellar candidates Emanuella Groves (for Eighth District Court of Appeals) and William Vodrey (for Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas). A good place to start informing yourself about local judicial races is Judge4Yourself.com. We don’t take their ratings as gospel, but they also provide background on the candidates so you can learn more about their experience and activities in the community. We do say that “not recommended” or “refused to participate” is a red flag.
Finally, although there are many races for state house in our area, and we couldn’t get to them all, Jenna did spotlight one: Air Force Lt. Col. Joan Sweeny is running for the House of Representatives in District 7 (Cleveland’s southwestern suburbs) against incumbent Thomas Patton. Read more about her here. Most of the other area statehouse races aren’t competitive, but we would like to point out candidate Monique Smith, a hard-working, high-quality candidate running in District 16 (Rocky River, Bay Village, Fairview Park, Westlake, North Olmsted) against Republican incumbent Dave Greenspan. Read more about her here.
These are people you should get to know in any case. Learn who your state representative and state senator are, and what their positions are. It’s the statehouse that has decided focusing on guns and abortion outranks dealing with education, healthcare and jobs, and it’s the state legislature that has been pressuring Governor Mike DeWine against taking pandemic action. Northeast Ohio has no one as shameful as the Cincinnati area’s John Becker, who pushed to impeach the governor for the horrific (!) act of asking us to wear masks and social distance, and when that failed, launched a failed attempt to charge him with criminal acts. Still, the numbers count.
The important thing is to vote and to vote down the entire ballot — from a position of being informed. We’ve seen a lot of races, especially for judges, decided because the candidate has an appealing name (usually female, Irish). Let’s be better than that.