"[Frank Jackson] said a lot of people were coming after him," said Eric Jonathan Brewer in a Facebook post
announcing his Cleveland Mayoral candidacy on Feb. 1. "I'm one of them ... for real, real. I hope he doesn't try to hide from me and I ain't worried about the others. This race will be between me and Jackson in November. He already knows."
Brewer was the Mayor of East Cleveland from 2006 to 2009. He lost to the lately recalled Mayor Gary Norton after photos of Brewer in drag were leaked to the press.
Brewer reportedly moved to Cleveland in 2012 after a foray into the Warren, Ohio, restaurant scene, and he's forging full steam ahead back into local politics, crass language and all. Brewer is a former journalist and publisher, and has accused Cleveland's current crop of leaders — including Jackson and city council — of a lack of transparency and initiative.
WKYC broke the news yesterday
that Brewer's Facebook announcement was indeed legitimate. Brewer told WKYC that he has been collecting signatures but has not given his name to the county board of elections, which he is not required to do. Like all other candidates, he'll have to collect 3,000 signatures and return them to the board of elections by June 29. The primary elections are on Sep. 12, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the November general.
"I'm running on my knowledge and experience," Brewer said in his post, "and in this race it's unequaled. Frank can't touch me. [Jeff] Johnson can't touch me. [Zack] Reed can't touch me. The Russian dude [Brandon Chrostowski?] [sic] can't touch me."
Zack Reed has yet to declare his Mayoral candidacy, for the record. But in a Cleveland.com post about City Council candidates
yesterday, Reed's name did not appear as a registered candidate in Ward 2, where he is currently councilman.
Brewer's brash and combative style — he has never been one to mince words
— manifests in sporadically accurate, profanity-laced attacks on his competitors. Though he is Frank Jackson's opposite in terms of personality, he has echoed Jackson's conviction that his own track record makes him uniquely qualified for the Mayor's seat.
"I know how to identify areas of waste, mismanagement and corruption inside municipal government that's wasting millions of dollars," Brewer told WKYC. "I'm the only mayor to have kept East Cleveland out of fiscal emergency for 4 years. I cut crime 40 to 75 percent in all categories without stomping all over my residents' constitutional rights. All of our successes came without a single request ever to the residents to raise their taxes."
Brewer discusses in his lengthy announcement, with particular vitriol, the recent income tax hike and other examples of Jackson working for city employees, not city residents. He views with contempt Jackson's own mayoral announcement in which Jackson referenced "the people behind [him]" as the one reason why he reluctantly decided to seek a fourth term.
"We've long complained that the city employees who work for us are not being held accountable," Brewer said. "Ones we know are wrong don't get fired for misconduct or prosecuted for the crimes they commit.... How many times have we asked Jackson in the past 4 years to fire Martin Flask, Michael McGrath and Calvin Williams for police violence found in a U.S. Department of Justice investigation and confirmation of over 600 cop crimes? Where are they? Still on the mutha fuckin' job. Any cops prosecuted and convicted for the crimes we know they committed? Ain't nobody in this community holding their breath."