Basil M. Russo is an American attorney, politician of the Democratic Party, judge. He was majority leader of Cleveland City Council during the time when the city went into default. Russo unsuccessfully ran in 1979 Cleveland mayoral election. Later he served as a judge of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas and judge of the Ohio's Eighth District Court of Appeals. Russo served as managing partner of the law firm of Russo, Rosalina & Co, LPA from the firm's founding in 1978 until his retirement in 2014. In 2014, national president of the Order Italian Sons and Daughters of America. His is the father of Anthony and Joe Russo, directors of the Captain America movies.
Early and personal life
Russo is the son of the late State Rep. and Cleveland ward boss Anthony J. and Domenica "Donnie" Russo. His brothers are of Probate Court Presiding Judge Anthony J. Russo and disgraced former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo, who resigned in 2010 after pleading guilty in the well-known county corruption scandal.
Russo received an undergraduate degree from John Carroll University and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
Russo's two sons, Anthony and Joe, are Hollywood filmmakers, who are known for Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Captain America: Civil War (2016) and You, Me and Dupree (2006).
Russo served as majority leader of Cleveland City Council during the time when the city went into default in 1979.
1980 Mayoral campaign
In July 1979, Russo announced that he would enter the 1979 Cleveland mayoral election, challenging fellow Democrat, the beleaguered incumbent Dennis Kucinich. Kuicinich was considered vulnerable, having narrowly survived a recall election the year before by just over 200 votes out of more than 120,000 votes. The field already included Ohio State Senator Charlie Butts and quickly grew in July with addition Republican George Voinovich, who was Lieutenant Governor of Ohio. Also, Thabo L. Ntweng of the socialist worker's party would also join the race. Russo would finish third in the nonpartisan primary in the crowded field, garnering a respectable 21,962, or 17.27%, behind eventual winner Voinovich and the incumbent Kuicinich.