Candidate Says Party's Support Influenced By Race

CLEVELAND - Is the race for Cuyahoga County commissioner turning into a controversy over race? That's what one candidate is saying, 19/43 News reported.

County recorder Patrick O'Malley and state Rep. Peter Lawson Jones (pictured, right) are now going head-to-head in the race. O'Malley has claimed that the Democratic Party's support for his opponent has more to do with the fact that Lawson Jones is black.

According to O'Malley, that feeling came from party chief Jimmy Dimora, who told him that the last five appointees have been white, and that there are no black males anywhere in county government.

"I believe he's done a good job in the county recorder's office, I just happen to believe that when it comes to who can be the best county commissioner, that I'm superior to him in that respect," Lawson Jones said.

O'Malley could not be reached for comment on Wednesday, but he was recently quoted as saying, "If Jimmy wanted to set up the game for him to use the race card to end it, it was wrong. I am not a guy who's going to roll over and be bullied out of a seat."

Voters will have the final say on Saturday.