Mar 6, 2024 - News

Matthew Ahn and Mike O'Malley tussle in Cuyahoga County prosecutor debate

A screenshot of a suited prosecutor speaking at a lectern wih the image of his challenger over his shoulder

Screenshot: City Club of Cleveland

Cuyahoga County prosecutor candidate Matthew Ahn pulled no punches in a debate yesterday against incumbent Mike O'Malley.

  • Ahn said there was a "crisis of leadership" in the prosecutor's office and that voters "deserved better than O'Malley's mess."

Why it matters: Given the makeup of the county electorate, the winner of the March primary is likely to prevail in the November general election.

Catch up quick: Ahn, a law professor and political progressive, has vaulted from little-known long shot to legitimate contender.

  • O'Malley has been in office since 2017, after he unseated Timothy McGinty.

The latest: Ahn argued that the prosecutor's office should be working to prevent crime, "not just reacting to it."

The other side: O'Malley leaned on his experience and said both juvenile bindovers and capital punishment were reserved for the most egregious criminals.

  • "It's startling to hear somebody blame every issue in this county on the prosecutor's office," O'Malley said.

What they're saying: "Does my opponent offer experience or only entrenchment?" Ahn said.

  • "For those of us who look different and who think a little differently, and who run based on our commitment to justice, rather than invitation from insiders — those of us who dare to run on what we know, not who we know — our experience is always attacked and dismissed."

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