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Cleveland mayoral candidate Kevin Kelley concedes to mayor-elect Justin Bibb

Kelley said it's time to put the division in the past
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Posted at 2:13 AM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-03 02:13:53-04

CLEVELAND — Around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night, Cleveland mayoral candidate Kevin Kelley conceded to his opponent Mayor-Elect Justin Bibb at Kelley's watch party.

Kelley's family, friends and loyal supporters gathered at The Harp, located at 4408 Detroit Avenue, around 7:30 p.m. to watch the votes roll in.

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, Ward 6 Cleveland City Councilman Blaine Griffin, Ward 7 Councilman Basheer Jones, Ward 9 Councilman Kevin Conwell, Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Yvonne Conwell and Ohio Senator for District 25 Kenny Yuko were all in attendance at the watch party.

Kelley started off his concession speech thanking his supporters, family, friends and the leaders of several labor unions who devoted time and resources to his campaign.

"I had a fantastic team of people," he said.

Kelley said he placed a call to Bibb to congratulate him before he took the podium and said it is time to put the division of the campaign behind Clevelanders.

"When you have elections you can do one of two things: you can fight about it, you can cry about it, you can complain about it, you can look back to what could’ve, should’ve, would’ve. You can feel like you were somehow done wrong or we can come together, and we can look at what is the Cleveland that we can build together," he said. "We are all a part of the future of this city."

Kelley said he will work, in whatever capacity is necessary, to help Bibb lead Cleveland into a successful future.

"I want everyone to know I’m at your service," he said. "You've got to make sure that you are always considering the working men and women of the city of Cleveland, you’re always considering those that are less fortunate than us. You need to make sure that we are taking care of the safety forces of the city of Cleveland, that we are insisting of prevailing wage, that we are insisting that we have minority contractors on every job, that we make sure that we are building a Cleveland that brings everybody along."

Kelley ended his speech with a toast to Bibb.

"To the new council, to Mayor-Elect Bibb, God bless. Let’s make this city great together," he said.

With 100% of precincts reporting, Kelley received 21,352 votes (37.14%) and Bibb received 36,138 votes (62.86%).

RELATED: Justin Bibb declares victory in Cleveland mayoral election