Armond Budish running unopposed, but working just as hard
Among those who attended the breakfast honoring Armond Budish (third from right), The Rev. Dr. E.T. Caviness, Elaine Gholstin, Rev. Aaron Phillips. Lewis Burrell/Photos
Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church and it’s esteem leader The Rev. Dr. E.T. Caviness hosted a breakfast for Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish on April 19 with a bevy of community stakeholder and a hand full of local elected officials on hand.
Events such as these are normally an opportunity for public servants to solicit support for an upcoming campaign, but although Budish, a Democrat, launched his re-election campaign in January he doesn’t have any challengers, neither Democrat nor Republican decided to try and unseat him.
Four of the six County Council members seeking re-election face no opposition in the primary or general election.
The 64-year old, a Beachwood attorney is a veteran former state legislator and former Ohio House speaker.
He took on five challengers in 2014 and then defeated Republican County Council member Jack Schron.
County Executive is arguably the most challenging office in Northeast Ohio, a grueling task that can exhaust almost anyone, but Budish has been a tireless advocate for local communities and people of color which is why he is such a favorite of the community stakeholders who hosted the breakfast for him.
It is also an opportunity to receive concerns from those stakeholders and then address them as the November nears and beyond.
Among his signature programs has been creating and now expanding pre-kindergarten programs and creating workforce programs.
Although his administration has dealt with a corruption investigation, but he had steadfastly been transparent throughout the inquiries.
Among his major achievements include The MetroHealth System which in May sold $945.7 million in hospital-revenue bonds for a campus transformation that will include a new 12-story hospital with 270 private rooms, a central utility plant, parking garage and several other projects.
He was instrumental in the Cleveland Cavaliers $140 million transformation project of Quicken Loans Arena was.
Even after critics challenged the project, it was revived after critics withdrew petitions that would have required a referendum on Cleveland's contribution to the transformation.
Budish was one of the primary architects of the agreement.
He spearheaded The Global Center for Health Innovation to persuade BioEnterprise to take over marketing the under-used facility and also helped encourage Plug and Play, a global business that's nurtured companies such as Google, Paypal and Dropbox, to create an accelerator for health-innovation businesses at the Global Center, with the Cleveland Clinic and JumpStart Inc. as local partners.
He led the county effort to transform the Bedford Heights jail into a center that provides job training, substance abuse counseling and culinary courses to inmates. In addition, the county regionalized jails in the county by taking over Cleveland's jail at the Justice Center.