Sam Allard / Scene
Nickie Antonio addresses the Lakewood Democratic Club (3/29/18).
The Plain Dealer / Cleveland.com editorial board has officially endorsed Nickie Antonio over former Cleveland City Council President Marty Sweeney in the race for Ohio Senate District 23.
Antonio, of Lakewood, currently serves as a State Rep, but is term-limited and is running for the seat held by the term-limited Mike Skindell (who's running for Antonio's State Rep seat).
Sweeney has stepped aside from his State Rep seat to make room for his daughter, the Columbus resident Bride Sweeney whose local candidacy was nevertheless validated by a court on the strength of her desire to return home, and the ongoing presence of her toiletries at her dad's house.
The editorial board endorsed Antonio thus:
"Antonio, of Lakewood, is the superior choice. She is known as one of the hardest-working members of the legislature, and has been effective in working across the aisle, most notably in successfully co-sponsoring a law to open adoption records in Ohio and in her work on LGBT anti-discrimination legislation."
The endorsement mentions that Sweeney wasn't even present for the interview. He was interviewed "separately by telephone in an interview that was not recorded," the piece said.
In the audio of the interview, Editorial Board director Elizabeth Sullivan tells Antonio that Sweeney informed her the previous Friday that he would not be participating. She encourages Antonio to "put issues on the table" that Sweeney might raise in a later private phone call.
The Friday that Sweeney informed Sullivan he wouldn't be participating was one day after a tense Q&A
at the Lakewood Democratic Club, in which an attendee asked him to comment on sexual harassment. (An initial question, directed to Antonio, clearly intended to confront Sweeney, on whose behalf the City of Cleveland settled a case of sexual misconduct with taxpayer money in 2007.) Sweeney likely wasn't interested in dealing with those questions in front of the editorial board.