Monday, June 29, 2009

Bill Patmon challenging Frank Jackson in mayor's race

In January, I wrote that no one of any stature was planning to run against Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson this year. Turns out, one person is: Bill Patmon, who was a city councilman from Glenville from 1989 to 2001.

Patmon ran for mayor in 2005 and got only about 2 percent of the vote. But that's not a good measure of his political abilities, or the prominence he held for a time in Cleveland politics.

Check out "Lone Wolf," a profile I wrote about Patmon in 2001, if you want to know more about him. The story describes how he broke away from then-mayor Mike White (a former ally), helped engineer a "coup" that brought an anti-White faction of council to power, aggressively challenged the White Administration as council's finance committee chair -- and paid for it in the 2001 elections.

Patmon lost his council seat that fall. Did out-of-control ambition bring Patmon down, or principled opposition to an out-of-control mayor? Patmon himself admitted his fights with White and attempts to become council president helped bring him down -- he said so when I interviewed him for our coverage of the 2005 mayor's race. (For that interview, click here and scroll down to the 4th item.)

I think we're witnessing the rebirth of a dormant political bloc that will challenge Frank Jackson and council president Martin Sweeney. While Patmon runs for mayor, his friend Jeff Johnson is also mounting a political comeback, trying to get elected to the Glenville city council seat both men once held. Johnson is not a Jackson ally -- he served in Jane Campbell's administration. I wouldn't be surprised if Patmon and Johnson work together on each other's campaigns. Update, 7/1: Not so, says Johnson. He e-mailed me to say he's staying neutral in the mayor's race. See this new post.

Of the other candidates for mayor, the only one I know anything about is Laverne Jones Gore, a perennial candidate for various offices who I interviewed in 2001 for a story about how lonely it is to be a Republican in Cleveland. Henry Gomez previews the mayor's race on his City Hall blog today.


Anonymous said...

Just a word, while you label LAVERNE JONES GORE a periennal candidate, she in fact, took on the tough challenge of running against the corrupt Cuyahoga County political machinery twice, once against Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, and then against Tim McCormack. In those races she advised taxpayers and voters that the County coffers were shrinking, patronage was rampant and that the Commissioners were inept to say the least. Almost a decade later, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars later and scores of federal investigations later, you can only call her a periennial candidate. I suppose in your mind, Joan of Arc was just a hotheaded gadfly as well. Your chauvinism is showing.

Anonymous said...

Tweedle Dee and Twiddle Dumb.
Bill Patmon's political career has been all about Bill Patmon. Frank Jacson's career has been all about the Jackson Brothers. Between Patmon's and Jackson's combined forty years in elected office, the City of Cleveland has gone down hill by every measure. The voters have already sent Patmon packing. He got about 1000 votes the last time he ran for mayor. That says a lot about that dynamo. NOT! Mr. Jackson, and his brothers don't get it either. The public is tired of them filling their rice cups at the taxpayers' expense. Jackson would love to face Patmon in the General Election. Then Patmon could accidently "fall down in the twelfth round" and what do you know, there you go, Twiddle Dumb wins again.

Anonymous said...

I think you are one of the better investigative reporters in this town. How come you don't know that the mayor's own poll shows 80% of voters rejecting him? Ask to see the poll. How come you don't know that 62% of the voters plan on voting for a woman? Ask to see the poll. How come you don't know that Patmon ain't even on the richter scale? Ask to see the poll. How come you don't know that Jackson's poll shows Laverne Jones Gore defeating him? Ask to see the poll.