LORAIN – Embattled Lorain City Councilman Dennis Flores said voters gave him the shot at redemption he wanted Tuesday.
“They felt that I was doing a good job, they just thought I should watch my personal issues and stay out of trouble,” Flores said after defeating challenger Andy Drwal in the Democratic primary to win reelection representing the city’s 2nd Ward. Flores won’t face a challenger in the November general election.
Flores took 194 votes, or 58.1 percent, while Drwal received 140 votes, or 41.9 percent, according to unofficial election returns.
Flores has been locked in a dispute with the city and the police union over whether he will turn over emails and text messages complaining about Lorain police officers that were sent to his private email accounts and cell phone.
Police have sought the information because they are trying to determine how information about an internal investigation into misconduct allegations against two police officers became public last summer. Although the city insists that any communication sent to Flores dealing with city business is a public record, he argues that isn’t the case.
Beyond the leak investigation, Flores also is facing a DUI charge stemming from a Jan. 2 incident in which he allegedly drove a van into a snowdrift in his neighbor’s yard. He admitted to drinking Christmas ale while being booked into the county jail and is due back in court Thursday.
That wasn’t Flores’ first brush with the law either. He pleaded no contest in 2010 to failing to notify police that he was carrying a gun, for which he had a concealed carry permit. He earlier had pleaded no contest in connection with a 2008 incident in which he was caught driving drunk and trying to solicit a prostitute.
Drwal went on to beat Flores in the 2009 election, but two years later Flores reclaimed his old seat.
Drwal said Tuesday he accepts the results of the election.
“When you do the best you can and you leave it up to the people, that’s the results,” he said.
Flores said earlier in the day he feared that low voter turnout would cost him the election, so he spent most of Tuesday walking around his ward reminding voters to head to the polls.
“I caught quite a few people at home,” he said.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.