“As mayor, I will work to bring jobs to our area by collaborating with local business owners, striving to attract new business, and making sure that our city is intentional about working with local contractors and laborers,” said Carrion at his mayoral campaign announcement. “I will work to connect our local experience and talent with available opportunities.”
He accused local government of trying to “lord over” Lorain residents instead of work on their behalf with their active participation. He stated his campaign will be one based on trying to make things better for the city’s working class.
“There are those in this community who don’t want us to unite so that they can continue to have control,” said Carrion. “They have turned a blind eye to the needs of working class people for their own personal gain and I’m here to say that this is not acceptable and help is on the way.”
Carrion will count on union support during the 2015 mayor’s race, but stated he has been meeting with veterans, Latino, and African-American community leaders as well to seek their support. Carrion graduated from Lorain Admiral King High School in 1991 and served in the Ohio National Guard. Both Carrion and the incumbent are Democrats.
Carrion has regularly attended Lorain City Council meetings and other community events to raise his political profile locally. He stated he has been working for two decades in the community, partly as preparation for a run for public office.
“My focus is on of bringing our community together, to give a voice to those in this community that are overlooked and apathetic,” Carrion said. “It is to create a culture of collaboration that will allow us to have a much broader perspective in attempting to meet the needs of the community and begin to meet our full potential. We have 64,000 citizens, yet most are not engaged and many feel that their involvement would not make a difference.”
Current Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer told the Morning Journal he’s not surprised by Carrion’s candidacy, stating Carrion has “been auditioning the past year for mayor.”
But Carrion countered by stating “his focus” for more than a decade has been how “he could be most effective” in serving his community, even though he’s never held public elective office.
“Many times that is working off the radar with no title or position coordinating and collaborating to accomplish our community goals. At times I have had to be in the public eye and take on a formal role to best move things forward,” he said. “As I felt called to formalize my commitment by running for public office, I assessed the potential positions and where I would be most effective. I compared my resume and accomplishments to those who currently and previously held those positions and it was clear.”
Ritenauer defended his record, telling the newspaper that Lorain is no longer in fiscal watch, the city has invested more in roadway repairs, fixed more waterlines and razed more blighted structures during his term than has occurred in recent decades.
“Lorain is a city with great potential. We have geographic assets that are underutilized and an untapped resource in our community members,” countered Carrion. “I will be able to use the strong partnerships with business owners, community leaders, and the general public to work together to begin to reach our potential and make Lorain great again.”