CINCINNATI — Longtime City Council member David Mann will run for mayor of Cincinnati in 2021, he announced Tuesday in a letter to potential donors. If he wins, Mann will assume the city’s highest office for the third time in his long-running political career.
“Betsy and I have mulled over this possibility for some time, but our thinking came together rather quickly in recent weeks,” he wrote in a copy of the letter provided to WCPO. “For a lot of reasons, including the human and economic costs of the coronavirus pandemic, I think my experience and leadership qualities are particularly suited, maybe uniquely suited, to the challenges we face just now at City Hall and in the broader community.”
Mann, a Democrat and Navy veteran, has served a total of 25 years on City Council – from 1974-92 and from 2013 to the present. He was mayor from ’80-82 and for a single year in ’91.
In between his two Council stints, he was elected to Congress in 1992 and acted as representative for Ohio’s 1st congressional district. He lost the seat in 1994 to Republican Rep. Steve Chabot, who still holds the position today.
In his letter, Mann wrote that his long record of public service should function as proof of his political acuity and dedication to the city.
“I have no ambition beyond Cincinnati and I believe I have yet more to give this community,” he wrote. “I promise proven leadership to move the city forward, particularly as we navigate a post-pandemic world. Our community deserves serious options to get us back on track.”
Even before the pandemic, Cincinnati city operations faced steep challenges – among them a significant budget shortfall and ongoing disputes over the future of the struggling Cincinnati Bell Connector. COVID-19 compounded existing problems, driving the city to furlough 1,700 of its employees in late March. One study estimated the city would come up about $90 million short as a result of the pandemic.
Mann ended his message to donors by encouraging them to donate to a new campaign website.