Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Write-in Columbus mayor's only foe

Ohio roundup

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Democratic Mayor Michael Coleman scared off any Republican hoping to topple him by raising $400,000 this year for his re-election campaign.

Coleman, 48, had only write-in opposition in Tuesday's election. In 1999, he breezed into office past Republican Dorothy Teater to become the city's first black mayor and the first Democrat to win the office since the 1960s.

Coleman said Tuesday night the priorities of his second term would be safer streets, job and neighborhood development, and education.

"I believe we've achieved a great deal of it, but we still have a long way to go," he said.

The voters Tuesday told him to "keep working hard and, guess what? I am. I take the charge by the voters very seriously."

Lawyer Kenneth Besser campaigned as a write-in but had raised only $2,235 to get out his message that Coleman was generous to developers because they gave to his campaign. Coleman denied the charge.

Coleman said he enjoys being mayor and will savor Tuesday's victory but would not rule out a run for statewide office in 2006.

Coleman campaigned despite having no Republican opposition, running ads for himself and buying ads for the four incumbent Democrats running for City Council.

Domestic partners' law takes slim lead

CLEVELAND - The suburb of Cleveland Heights could become the first city in the nation to give recognition by public vote to gay and straight unmarried partners.

If voters approved Tuesday, unmarried couples could obtain a certificate from the city stating they are domestic partners. With 45 percent of precincts reporting, the measure was passing, 51 percent to 49 percent.

Although the recognition would not be binding on courts, governments, hospitals or private companies, supporters hoped it would make it easier for couples to share employment benefits, inherit property or gain hospital visiting rights.

Domestic registries have been created by municipal councils or state legislatures elsewhere but not through a ballot issue, according to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, a Washington.

Akron mayor way ahead for fifth term

AKRON - The city's longest-serving mayor appeared to be cruising to re-election Tuesday.

Democrat Don Plusquellic sought a fifth four-year term, campaigning on his experience, including an income tax increase he helped get passed this year to help pay for school renovations.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Plusquellic had an overwhelming 71 percent of the vote.

His opponent, State Rep. Bryan C. Williams, accused his administration of being corrupt.

Williams backed term limits as a way to infuse new talent into politics. Plusquellic opposed them, saying voters are smart enough to determine their leaders.

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2 school levies approved
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Williams appears victor in Norwood
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Children Services levy OK'd
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Clermont County voters return incumbent judges
3 Clermont villages get new mayors
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Clermont voting down growth projects
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New faces join Mason and Lebanon city councils
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Write-in Columbus mayor's only foe
'Yes' to casino

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