September 21, 2014

Elyria
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Holly Brinda, Ray Noble win Elyria mayoral primaries

ELYRIA — Democrat Holly Brinda won by waging a grassroots campaign and Republican Ray Noble bested a newcomer in an easy victory.

Noble

Noble

Ursi

Ursi

Brinda

Brinda

Grace

Grace

Come November, Brinda and Noble will face off against each other in the general election after snagging their respective party’s nomination Tuesday. According to unofficial election results, Brinda won over incumbent Mayor Bill Grace with a vote of 2,571 votes or 53.5 percent to 2,238 votes or 46.5 percent.

Noble won with 578 votes or 67.6 percent to Ursi’s 277 votes or 32.4 percent, according to unofficial election results.

Brinda and Noble will be joined by independent Tim Quinn, who filed to run for mayor Monday, making the general election a three-way race.

Noble, who spent the evening working instead of attending any election party, said he is ready to campaign hard, but fair in the hopes of being named the next mayor by voters.

“I’m not going to run a negative campaign,” he said. “People know me and know I say what I mean. They know my platform of fiscal responsibility and bringing jobs to the community.”

After a long primary campaign that lasted right up to the end, Brinda said Tuesday night that she plans to take a few weeks off before gearing up for the second leg of her campaign.

“We are halfway there and I don’t take the process lightly,” she said.

Moss’ Prime Rib and Spaghetti House was the location for Brinda’s celebratory gathering. There, surrounded by family and friends she was all smiles most of the evening and her mood turned to jubilation as the final results rolled in around 10 p.m. About 30 minutes later when she finally stopped accepting hugs of congratulation, she made a quick speech.

“This is the people’s campaign and I am very happy to give the people of Elyria a choice,” she said.

Brinda called her effort a grassroots one with many residents helping her knock on door and place campaign signs all around Elyria, even in the rain and sleet, she said.

“This campaign was built on local people bringing out their talents and that made all the difference,” she said.

Moments later, Grace, who delivered his concession speech at Smitty’s to a room of about 75 supporters, came to Moss’ to personally congratulate Brinda on her victory.

“If you win, I will do everything to help you in your transition,” he said to her over a brief handshake.

While the loss was tough to swallow, Grace said he is proud of all he has accomplished over the 12 years he served as mayor. His term will end in December.

“We raised the standards of expectations for our city,” he said.

Grace was first elected in November 1999 after beating incumbent Mayor Michael Keys, who held the office for 20 years — the longest in the city’s modern history. Keys had never lost a general or primary election.

Grace first challenged keys in 1991, losing by a mere 320 votes. In 1995, he was part of a three-way Democratic primary race with Keys and Shirley Guinta but still could not secure the nomination.

Finally in 1999, Grace won the Democratic primary and soundly defeated Republican opponent Pauline Leboda with 74 percent of the vote.

“We accomplished a lot and we all can be proud even though it comes to an end this year,” Grace said to supporters in his concession speech.

The response from the room was a loud, “Thank you, Bill,” followed by applause.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.