Graham cruises to council win

WARREN – The sometimes bitter campaign between Council President Bob Dean and Jim Graham ended Tuesday with a vote of the people.

Graham leads the primary for the city council presidency with 55 percent of the vote to 45 percent, incomplete and unofficial election results show. Some provisional and mail-in votes have yet to be counted.

Graham, the former president of United Auto Workers Local 1112, ran a campaign that focused on bringing a sense of leadership back to the head of city council and working closely with the administration.

“We had a good team running this campaign,” Graham said about his victory. “We had a lot of support of council members.”

While enjoying the warm hugs of friends, family and supporters, Graham said he is already looking forward to meeting with Mayor Doug Franklin.

“He and I can develop a consensus on where we want the city to go,” Graham said. “I’ve known Doug for 30 years. I know we can work together.”

In the weeks leading to Tuesday’s vote, Dean’s campaign had been haunted with suggestions that he had lost control of city council. He had been criticized for his role in raising money to help with the funeral expenses of six teens killed in a March single-vehicle accident.

Dean focused his campaign on his military service, work with administrations in Texas and with the Cleveland Port Authority and, in recent years, his service to the city as a councilman at-large and as council president. Dean emphasized his long record of raising money for coats for kids, gifts for military veterans and being available to help in city wide emergencies.

Dean said he is already looking past this election.

“Tomorrow morning (Wednesday), I will be in Columbus at the enshrinement ceremony of the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame,” Dean said. “I’m going to so proud of that accomplishment. There are only three people from Trumbull county that have been enshrined in the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame.”

He hopes to work with councilman-elect Larry D. Larson, who was nominated to the 1st Ward council seat.

“I’m going to continue working in the community,” Dean said. “That’s who I am.”