Flanked and introduced by local establishment politicians, County Executive Armond Budish announced yesterday that he will seek re-election in 2018.
Budish spoke at the Pipefitters Local 120 union hall in Valley View. He told Cleveland.com
that in a new term (which at this point he's all but guaranteed to secure) he'd continue to work on the same initiatives he's worked on thus far: reducing infant mortality, increasing funding for Pre-K education and promoting economic development.
Note 1: Pipefitters Local 120 is one of the more powerful construction unions in town, with financial ties to politicians and PACs, including the Council Leadership Fund
. Its members were vocal and muscular supporters of the Quicken Loans Arena Renovation Deal.
Note 2: You can read all about Budish's early accomplishments, and how they stacked up against his vision for Cuyahoga County ("a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship") in this story
written midway through his first term.
In the meantime, feel free to reflect upon some of the major stories coming out of the county in recent months:
- The County's credit card remains maxed out while salaried employees were paid more than $1.7 million in unsanctioned overtime.
- The Global Center for Health Innovation is still the leaderless husk of dying dreams and occasional corporate breakfasts that it was in 2016.
- RTA's death spiral is picking up serious velocity.
- Infant mortality numbers are still abysmal, and in Northeast Ohio black babies die at three times the rate of white babies, (though to be fair, we don't even have 2016 numbers, so there may be success to report soon!).
- Budish, Frank Jackson and the Greater Cleveland Partnership's Joe Roman have kept the details of Cleveland's Amazon HQ2 bid secret, an anti-Democratic maneuver decried by Cleveland.com and Scene.
- And my personal favorite Budish moment from 2017, from this Q Deal piece.
Cleveland.com's Karen Farkas quoted Armond Budish saying that he'd managed to negotiate a seven-year lease extension as part of the deal — alleged, throughout the proceedings, to be the chief public benefit. When Farkas later reported, after a conversation with former County Executive Ed FitzGerald, that the lease extension had always been part of the Cavs' offer (calling into question whether negotiations of any kind really happened), Budish responded with a new statement: "We think this is a great deal for the public and we stand by it.