October 23, 2014

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Lorain Council: Dennis Flores clears first hurdler in getting his seat back

LORAIN — He’s getting his gun back, and he may be getting his job back, too.

Former 2nd Ward City Councilman Dennis Flores on Tuesday won the Democratic primary to regain his seat despite accusations of soliciting a prostitute and failing to promptly alert police that he was carrying a pistol.

He collected 303 votes, or 52 percent of the vote, while his opponent, Andy Drwal, received 275 votes, or 48 percent, according to unofficial results from the Lorain County Board of Elections.

“People gave me another chance,” Flores said. “It’s very gratifying, and I’m going to work hard not to let them down.”
Flores, who previously served from 2007 to 2009, said his record of supporting clean energy and anti-blight initiatives while on Council helped him regain the seat. Flores also said voters were forgiving about his brushes with the law.

In 2009, Flores pleaded no contest to charges of solicitation and physical control over accusations in 2008 that he solicited a prostitute and was driving drunk. Flores pleaded no contest for a Nov. 16 incident in which he was accused of not promptly notifying police that he was carrying a pistol.

He is scheduled to be sentenced May 27. Flores, who has a concealed carry permit, said he faces no jail time. He said he will not have his permit revoked but will have to receive more concealed-carry training.

In other Council races, political newcomer Tony Richardson, a Democrat, was the top vote-getter with 3,922 votes, or 26 percent, in his first bid for an at-large seat.

A 28-year-old Lorain Schools grant administrator and the son of a single mother, he said he got a lot of help growing up and wanted to give back.

“I kind of feel like that’s my moral obligation,” Richardson said. “I’ve been given many gifts and opportunities and I feel like me giving back is thanking God for the gifts that he’s given me.”

Also winning nominations for at-large seats were Democratic incumbents Daniel Given with 3,774 votes and Anne Molnar with 3,729 votes. Fred Lozano, who received 3,529 votes, was defeated.

Given, Molnar and Richardson will face Republican Thom Hutchinson and independent Christopher Olejko in November.

In the 1st Ward, incumbent Democrat Brian Gates ran unopposed and will face independent Joe Smith in November. In the 5th Ward, six-term Democratic incumbent Eddie Edwards received 268 votes, or 54 percent of the vote, to defeat JoAnne Moon, who had 229 votes or 46 percent of the vote.
In the 7th Ward, three-term Democratic incumbent Miroslaw “Mickey” Silecky received 524 votes to narrowly defeat Michael Beatty, who had 511 votes.
Silecky will face Republican Brittany Gilmartin in November.

“It’s a nail biter. Let’s put it that way,” Silecky said of the win. “My record absolutely helped me, and the residents seeing what I’ve done.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.