Charles Hopson, 68, candidate for Ohio House 9th District, is at an age when most people are about to retire. A Republican, he argues that he is the best candidate for the seat currently held by Democrat Barbara Boyd because he would bring a new perspective.
He ran for Cleveland City Council once, in the mid 2000s, and he is a former Cleveland Ward 2 precinct committee leader. However, Hopson currently has a different role in these communities: He works as a real estate broker.
He says a seat in the Ohio legislature will allow him to use his skills in “real estate, working with constituents and equity assets” for the good of the Ohio 9th District, which covers Cleveland Heights, University Heights and Shaker Heights. Hopson currently lives in Shaker Heights, and has lived there most of his life.
Reaching out to Hopson was difficult. He did not have any presence on social media, such as Facebook, or even a website that would allow people to contact him directly. His personal e-mail address and phone number had to be obtained from the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County. A series of brief conversations and quick replies back and forth through emails ensued, during which one thing was obvious: he is a very busy man. However, he did find the time to answer the interview questions via e-mail.
Hopson said he was influenced to run for election because he felt that the seat he is running for needed new blood — his opponent is the daughter of the incumbent, Janine Boyd. Hobson said he is more qualified than Boyd because he offers a new viewpoint.
When asked about his lack of online presence, Hopson said he did not use social media to spread awareness of his campaign to the Cleveland public because he is “relying on my consistent way that I treat people in life.” He also did not have many advertisements. Instead, Hopson said he hopes that the relationships he has developed in the community over the years will help him to win the election.
Chanda Neely, the community reporter who covers the district Hopson is running in for the Northeast Ohio Media Group, said in an interview that the NEOMG and the Plain Dealer, which are owned by the same company, did an endorsement interview at which both Hopson and Boyd were present. An audio recording of the interview, held Sept. 7, is on cleveland.com at the link provided.