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La Liga de Las Americas

Santiago retains his Council position in Ward 14

By Arooj Ashraf

La Prensa Newspaper



Cleveland: Cheers, whistles and applause erupted at Bruno’s Ristorante on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007 as Councilman Joe Santiago defeated an election recall initiated by predecessor Nelson Cintrón Jr.  


“The real winners are the residents of Ward 14,” said Councilman Santiago to more than 150 supporters crammed in the Italian restaurant Cleveland’s side. He thanked the volunteers who put in long hours and made more than 1600 phone calls in the last seven days of campaigning.


Final poll results from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections showed 749 people voted against the recall and only 498 in favor of removing Santiago.


“The person behind this recall was more consumed with ego and personal agenda than the constituents,” said Ward 17 Councilman Matt Zone. Zone said he will extend an invitation to Cintron to work together with Santiago and help Ward 14 overcome its challenges. “Citizens realized the fraud that was being committed,” Zone said.


Santiago said he was overwhelmed, thankful and just excited about getting back to his agendas for attracting business and housing to Ward 14. He said the unnecessary recall put a halt to the season and prevented him from enjoying his usual activities like volunteering for under privileged children. His tearful mother, Rose Santiago, greeted and hugged everyone and said she was proud the ordeal was over.


“It hurts me to see my son going through this because I know he loves his Ward and does the best he can,” she said.


Santiago’s Campaign Manger Marci McGee said more than 100 volunteers spent a lot of time going door to door and calling voters. “We identified the voters and were able to get them to turn out,” she said.


Santiago had the strong backing of many councilmen. Councilwoman Dona Brady, of Ward 19 said she was ecstatic that Santiago defeated the unwarranted recall. “He has much to do, like all of us, and he can finally get back to doing it.”


Cuyahoga County Board of Elections estimates the recall cost taxpayers $47,000. Santiago has two more years remaining in his term.


Win: Joe Santiago greets supporters and media at Bruno's Restaurant.

Joe Santiago and his mother Rose Santiago


Sister Alicia Alvarado and Marci McGee celebrate Santiago's victory







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