Cleveland councilmen face-off for Ward 10 but Jeff Johnson comes out on top

CLEVELAND - Two city councilmen faced off against each other but only one is coming back in 2014.

Eugene Miller and Jeff Johnson went head-to-head to win the voters in the new Ward 10 district.

Johnson would win by less than 500 votes.

"I'm excited to go back into an area that I grew up in," said Johnson just before he told his supporters that he defeated Miller. The ward stretches about seven miles and has anywhere from 23,000 to 25,000 voters.

The 2010 US Census showed a population decrease in the city, which forced city council seats to be reduced from 19 to 17. Councilman Jay Westbrook announced his retirement, but it still left at least two councilors who would do battle.

The new Ward 10, took parts of Kevin Conwell, Mike Polensek, Johnson, and Miller's old district.

The Johnson campaign said 60 percent of the new ward came from Miller's old ward. Johnson then teamed with Conwell and Polensek and the three agreed not to run against each other. With Conwell and Polensek support, Johnson said that evened the playing field because they all campaigned for one another.

The target became Miller. When the new wards were carved up, it put Cowell versus Johnson. The two decided not to run against each other and instead, Johnson decided to run against Miller.

"They are my natural friends and allies," Johnson said speaking of the coalition that formed. "I don't think I would have won without them."

Attempts to reach Eugene Miller were unsuccessful.

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