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Justin Bibb Raising Money For Possible 2021 Cleveland Mayoral Bid

Justin Bibb said he'll make a decision early next year on whether to run for mayor. [Courtesy Justin Bibb]
Justin Bibb said he'll make a decision early next year on whether to run for mayor.

A nonprofit founder and Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority board member is weighing a bid for Cleveland mayor in 2021.

Justin Bibb formed a campaign fundraising committee at the beginning of September, Cuyahoga County Board of Election records show. So far, he has raised $180,000 for a possible run, he said.

“We’re going to have more news on what we intend to do early next year,” the 33-year-old told ideastream. “But right now, we all recognize that our city is at a critical inflection point, and we have a short amount of time to get some big decisions right for Cleveland to truly, I believe, become the best mid-sized city in America.”

Bibb is a former vice president of corporate strategy at KeyBank. He now works as chief strategy officer for Urbanova, a data company that works with cities, and he started the civic technology nonprofit Cleveland Can’t Wait.  

If he runs, he’d campaign on modernizing city hall operations, improving the city’s troubled health department and helping prepare Cleveland’s students for college and working life, he said.

“We’re going to meet the residents of the city where they are,” Bibb said. “We want to use our movement, for an eventual campaign, to really share the stories of the hopes and the dreams — and the pain — that many folks have been going through.”

Bibb has not yet pulled petitions to put his name on the Sept. 14 primary ballot.

Earlier this month, former mayor and U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich formed a fundraising committee for a potential mayoral bid. Mayor Frank Jackson said he will decide next year whether he’ll seek a fifth term in office.

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.