Sam Allard / Scene
Chrostowski, in his campaign offices near Shaker Square.
Cleveland mayoral candidate Brandon Chrostowski dropped off signatures at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Monday, becoming the third candidate to officially do so
Councilman Jeff Johnson and Palestinian-American Brahim Ayad have also submitted signatures.
Chrostowski told Scene that he submitted 5,248 signatures, and that his own team, using Board of Elections computers, estimated that 3,500 were valid before they were submitted. They will be officially validated by BOE personnel next Wednesday, Chrostowski said.
The east side restaurateur has been something of an afterthought in the mayoral race in recent weeks, as stories about incumbent Frank Jackson and his council challengers Jeff Johnson and Zack Reed have dominated the headlines. (Jackson, Johnson and Reed are still certainly the three most powerful candidates, though Jackson, to date, has not yet pulled petitions.)
Chrostowski, like Johnson and Reed, opposed the Quicken Loans Arena renovation deal. In a statement last month, he said that the deal was evidence of Cleveland's entrenched political leadership and their subservience to corporate influence. And he responded to those who criticized his lack of experience.
"After watching the Q deal unfold and the charade that council president Kevin Kelley pulled on the steps of city hall, I can only conclude that Mr. Kelley and his ilk hold the citizens of Cleveland’s most deprived neighborhoods in very low regard. What a shame," Chrostowski wrote.
"This travesty showed me how weak our leadership really is and how a mayor can sit back and take cover without anyone calling him out. The hard truth is that this is an evacuation of social integrity across the board. The deal put before Cleveland City Council was shoddy and betrayed our leadership’s lack of empathy or even interest in all of us regular citizens."
Chrostowski has pitched himself as an outsider uncorrupted by "business as usual" at City Hall. He sees himself as a fresh voice with energy and passion. He wants to bring the same principles of his EDWINS's Leadership and Restaurant Institute to other arenas of city policy.