The two candidates for Cuyahoga County executive came together last night for a polite and subdued forum. It was the first time Democrat Armond Budish and Republican Jack Schron shared a stage together in this race. ideastream's Nick Castele reports.
Budish and Schron didn't quite debate. In fact, there were only a few times when they even disagreed.
Budish is a state representative and former speaker of the Ohio house. He backs executive Ed FitzGerald's record on economic development. He said he supports spending limits on campaign contributions.
And when asked about Burke Lakefront Airport in downtown Cleveland, he said Northeast Ohio should at least have a new conversation about whether to close it.
"I've consistently been told we can't get rid of Burke because we would lose our hub. It would impact the smaller planes going over there, would then delay the bigger planes, there was a variety of reasons," Budish said. "We don't have a hub anymore. "
Budish acknowledged it's ultimately Cleveland's decision, not the county's, whether to close.
Jack Schron runs a manufacturing company in Cleveland and serves as a county councilman. He said the county should make it harder for the executive to fire the sheriff, and should make the county inspector general more independent.
Schron also talked up the job he and the largely Democratic county council did overseeing the building of Cleveland's convention center and Global Center for Health Innovation.
We were given the responsibility for those two buildings that were already committed to, that were already on the drawing board, that were already planned," Schron said. "Our job and our responsibility was to be good watchdogs of your funds, and make sure it came in on time and under budget. And that's what we did."
Before the May primary, Schron said he didn't support the governor's decision to expand Medicaid eligibility -- but last night, he said he now backs it, because he now is convinced the federal government will continue to pay its share of the program.
The two candidates spoke at the Parma branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, in an event put on by the Northeast Ohio Media Group and moderated by columnist Mark Naymik. The election is this November.