CLEVELAND — The race for Mayor of Cleveland is getting crowded, with 11 candidates formally announcing a bid in the 2021 election for the seat, and several more announcing their intention or interest in seeking the position. Here's a list of formal and potential candidates for the next mayor of Cleveland.
The primary election for the mayoral election is on Sept. 14, and the general election will be on Nov. 2. The filing deadline for candidates running for mayor is June 16.
Current Mayor Frank Jackson, currently serving his fourth term, announced on Thursday, May 6 that he will not seek a fifth term.
Below is a list of candidates who have formally filed to run for Cleveland mayor, according to paperwork from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections:
Kevin Kelley, a stalwart of Cleveland's city council since 2005, announced the start of his mayoral campaign on April 8. The current council president and former social worker joins the list of growing yet still incomplete list of mayoral hopefuls within the filing deadline still two months away.
Ward 7 Councilmember Basheer Jones formally announced a run for mayor on May 6 and he is on the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections candidate list for the election.
Back in September, Jones hosted a news conference with the Ohio Innocence Project to bring awareness to the number of innocent people wrongfully convicted of crimes, and he was one of several councilmembers to show up to support allowing public comment at the city’s regular council meetings.
His tenure as a Ward 7 councilmember has not been without controversy; in 2017, residents questioned whether Jones is legally living in the Hough neighborhood home that he declared as his address.
Former Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed announced in March that he’s running to become Cleveland’s next mayor.
Reed, who stepped down recently from his role as Minority Affairs Coordinator with the Ohio Secretary of State, made the announcement on Twitter.
Landry McNord Simmons Jr.
Keshawn Dwayne Varnado
Anthony Lee Wilson
LaTorya Jean Witcher
James Jerome Bell
Michael J. Chal
Arthur O. Kostendt
We’ll continue to update this story as we learn more about each candidate, and as candidates enter and drop out of the race.
Here are a few notable people who have not yet formally filed:
In front of a crowd of family and supporters at the Harvard Community Center, State Senator Sandra Williams on Monday made what had long been expected official.
"I am excited and honored to announce that I will be running for mayor of the city of Cleveland,” Williams said. She is currently the only African American woman serving in the Ohio State Senate.
Cleveland businessman and community leader Justin Bibb announced last year that he would be running for mayor, and had raised over $180,000 for his campaign by December, but has not yet formally filed to run.
Bibb serves on the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Teach for America - Ohio, Destination Cleveland, and LAND Studio Inc. boards.
The former one-term mayor of Cleveland, former U.S. representative, two-time presidential candidate, and one-time candidate for Governor of Ohio was one of the first to express interest in a possible mayoral run back in December, but he has yet to formally file paperwork for candidacy.
When asked about his decision, Kucinich said, "Right now this is Frank Jackson's day, the focus really needs to be on him and anyone who is a candidate or whose candidacy is speculated about - this is a moment to thank Frank Jackson.”