(Cleveland) - Justin Bibb, the 34-year-old non-profit agency executive, has defeated City Council President Kevin Kelley in the race for the next Mayor of Cleveland. With 99 percent of the vote counted, Bibb had 35,599 votes, for 62.68 percent of the vote, while Kelley had 21,194 votes, for 37.22 percent of the vote.
Bibb held a wide lead all evening, prompting Kelley to concede about 10:30 p.m., three hours after the polls closed. Bibb gave his victory speech after that.
In his victory speech, Bibb said the voters had a "mandate for change." He started out that speech saying he was in the House of the Lord (his HQ for election night was Olivet Institutional Baptist Church at East 89th and Quincy). Bibb also credited his family, which has a history at Olivet Institutional. Bibb said a broad coalition got him elected, and will help change the city of Cleveland.
Kelley, whose election night HQ was at Harp Restaurant on Detroit Avenue, said even though there was division in the election, he's calling on people to support the new mayor-elect, as well as to support the new City Council.
Bibb and Kelley were the two top vote-getters in the September 14th primary, topping a field of seven challengers. Current Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson decided earlier this year that he would not run for an unprecedented fifth four-year term. Jackson did support Kelley. Bibb was supported by former Mayor Mike White.
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