Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Santiago eliminated; Cummins, Nagin will face off in Ward 14

Joe Santiago won't return to council next year. He came in third in Ward 14, losing to councilman Brian Cummins and former council aide Rick Nagin.

City council will lose its only Hispanic representative. The years-long feud between Santiago and former councilman Nelson Cintron ends (or does it?) with both of them out of the picture. (Cintron came in fourth.) Local Hispanic leaders will be crestfallen, but trouble is, both Santiago and Cintron were flawed candidates.

A few months ago, political observers thought Cummins was going to lose his seat because of redistricting. He'd come out in favor of reducing the size of council, so it looked like council president Martin Sweeney was willing to start by reducing him. But he ran against Santiago in the new ward, and won.

Nagin was no one's pick to finish second a few months ago, but he came on strong toward the end, with endorsements from Dennis Kucinich, the AFL-CIO, and the Call & Post, plus lots of knowledge of the neighborhood dating back to his time as Cintron's council aide. I expect "Communist candidate makes city council runoff" to be a headline somewhere soon -- Nagin is a former head of the Ohio Communist Party!

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