John Cranley

Over the past few weeks, the fight in the Cincinnati mayor’s race has been about the streetcar.

Roxanne Qualls for it; John Cranley against it.

This week, it is about parking meters and whether they should be leased to a private company, an issue that is going to be decided by Cincinnati City Council in the next few weeks.

Once again, Qualls for it; Cranley against it.

Don’t worry, the streetcar debate will come back. That debate is likely to go on all year, right up to election day.

You had to know that this $110 million streetcar project was going to run straight down the middle of this year’s Cincinnati mayor’s race.

One candidate, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, has been an ardent supporter. The other major candidate, John Cranley, has been a vocal opponent.

At the moment, though, the streetcar appears to have jumped the tracks.

On the same day, mayoral candidate John Cranley proposed a debate soon over the issue of privatizing parking meters, his opponent, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, proposed a series of five post-primary debates - after council has acted on the parking issue.

Cranley, a former city council member, opposes the plan - which has yet to be formally introduced in Cincinnati City Council - while Qualls is a supporter.

Libertarian Jim Berns has filed petitions to run for Cincinnati mayor, setting up what will be the first mayoral primary election in the city since 2005.

Democrats Roxanne Qualls, a former mayor and now vice mayor, and former council member John Cranley have not filed their petitions yet, but are actively campaigning and raising money and plan to file petitions by the June filing deadline.

Berns' entry into the race guarantees a primary election in the city of Cincinnati on Sept. 10; and it will be a costly one.

At the moment, there are only two announced candidates for Cincinnati mayor in 2013, both Democrats – Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls and former city council member John Cranley.

And they happen to be two of the most popular politicians of  Cincinnati voters in the past two decades.

The only time the two of them were on the ballot together in a Cincinnati City Council race was in 2007.


Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls – who served as Cincinnati’s mayor in the 1990s – formally launched her campaign to return to the mayor’s office with an event Thursday morning in Walnut Hills that drew dozens of supporters.

One of those supporters was the present mayor, Mark Mallory, who will be term-limited out of office in 2013. Mallory appointed Qualls as vice mayor; and made her chair of Cincinnati City Council’s most influential committee, the Budget and Finance Committee.

Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls - who was Cincinnati's mayor in the 1990s - will formally announce her candidacy in the 2013 mayoral race Thursday morning in Walnut Hills.

The current mayor, Mark Mallory, who is term-limited out in 2013, will accompany Qualls at a gathering at a pottery factory on Gilbert Avenue in Walnut Hills.

Mallory's 2009 campaign manager, Jens Sutmoller, will run Qualls' 2013 bid for the mayor's office.

One other candidate, also a Democrat, has announced his candidacy for mayor - former council member John Cranley.

The Hamilton County Board of Elections isn’t finished counting the votes from the Nov. 6 election; but it was only a matter of time before the 2013 race for Cincinnati mayor began.

John Cranley, the former Democratic city councilman and two-time congressional candidate, settled that hash this week when he announced he will be a candidate for mayor, issuing a press release and holding a flurry of media interviews.

Clearly, the 38-year-old Cranley, who has been out of office for nearly four years now, saw the value of being the first horse out of the gate.


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.