John Cranley, the 38-year-old Democrat elected to four terms on Cincinnati City Council from 2001 through 2007, has become the first announced candidate for Cincinnati mayor in the 2013 election.
The present mayor, Mark Mallory, can't run again because of the city's term limits law, which limits the mayor to two four-year terms.
"I will bring fresh energy and new ideas to the mayor's office,'' said Cranley, who has opposed construction the planned construction of a streetcar in downtown and Over-the-Rhine. "I will listen to voices from every neighborhood and together we will jumpstart our economy and build a Cincinnati that is greater than the one I grew up in and stronger than the city we live in today."
In an interview with WVXU, Cranley was highly critical of a recent city council decision to take millions in tax increment financing (TIF) money that was to go to the completion of the riverfront park at The Banks and shift it to the streetcar project for the purpose of moving utility lines.
He resigned from council in Jan. 2009 and, since then, has been involved in the Incline Village development project in East Price Hill. Because the city of Cincinnati has been involved in that development, Cranley told WVXU he would divest himself of his interest in City Lights Development, which has had a large part in the East Price Hill development.
Cranley grew up in Price Hill, but now lives in Hyde Park with his wife and son.
Cranley was chairman of council's finance committee from 2001 until he left in 2009, producing balanced budgets for the city in each year.
Former mayor Charlie Luken is going to be the honorary chairman of Cranley's campaign.
He will, no doubt, face opposition in the Sept. 13 primary election for the mayor's job. Most political observers expect Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, a Democrat, to run; and Hamilton County Commission president Greg Hartmann, a Republican, has said he is considering a run for the office. Others are likely to join the race.
If more than two candidates file for the mayor's race, there will be a primary election in September, with the top two finishers in that primary facing each other in the November 2013 general election.
Cranley, a graduate of Harvard Law School, started his political career in 2000 by running in the 1st Congressional District against incumbent Republican Steve Chabot. He lost, taking 45 percent of the vote. Six years later, Cranley - then on council - ran again against Chabot, but lost with 48 percent of the vote.
Cranley announced his candidacy in a press release this morning. He said he will officially launch his campaign with an event in January.