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Longest-Serving Mayor Loses Bid

November 3, 1999

BROOKLYN, Ohio (AP) _ John Coyne’s 52-year run as mayor of this Cleveland suburb is coming to an end. Challenger Kenneth Patton won Tuesday’s election.

``Nobody likes to lose. I enjoyed being mayor the last 52 years,″ Coyne said. ``We’ve got the finest people in the country here in the city of Brooklyn. I’m proud of what we have accomplished.″

Patton had 2,290 votes, while Coyne got 2,100.

At age 82, the spry, straight-talking mayor got one of his toughest political fights from Patton, 48, who wasn’t born when Coyne was elected in 1947.

For the first time ever, the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party endorsed Coyne’s opponent. Coyne and Patton are both Democrats, but this was a nonpartisan election.

Coyne kept his job all this time through a mix of tight control over the city’s money _ he’s a certified public accountant _ and good public services for Brooklyn’s nearly 12,000 residents.

Coyne also crusaded for public safety. The city passed a pioneering seat-belt requirement in 1966 and this year approved a law that prohibits use of a cell phone while driving unless both hands are on the steering wheel, also a national first.

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