CINCINNATI -- City Councilmember Yvette Simpson announced her candidacy for mayor Wednesday.
Simpson, the council president pro tem, will seek the mayor's office in the 2017 election, challenging incumbent mayor and fellow Democrat John Cranley.
"This city has urgent needs, and we must address them," she said.
I am proud to announce I am running for mayor of the great city of Cincinnati. I welcome your ideas and support. https://t.co/2Il8Plt8zP
— Yvette Simpson (@yvette4cincy) August 10, 2016
Simpson is currently serving her second term on the city council. One of her chief initiatives has been the city's summer jobs program for teens.
Simpson's run has been widely speculated since late 2013, when one of her political mentors, Roxanne Qualls, lost that year's mayoral race to Cranley.
Councilmembers Chris Seelbach and Wendell Young - both of whom backed Qualls in 2013 -- joined Simpson for Wednesday's announcement. Ozie Davis, a community organizer from Avondale, also stood behind her.
Big Day today. pic.twitter.com/l83wLOYZbq
— Chris Seelbach (@ChrisSeelbach) August 10, 2016
Following Simpson's announcement, Cranley released a statement reiterating his intentions to seek re-election.
"As we head towards November 2017, I look forward to continuing the discussion about my values and vision for moving our city forward," Cranley said. "I hope that I will earn the support of voters."
Hamilton County Republican Party Chair Alex Triantafilou said they were also "exploring options" for the 2017 race.
— Alex Triantafilou (@ChairmanAlex) August 10, 2016
WCPO will update this story.