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Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan will not run for reelection in 2023

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan
Jennifer Conn
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan speaks at a 2019 press conference about Akron's snow and ice removal plan. Horrigan has announced that he will not seek a third term in 2023.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan has announced he will not run for reelection next year.

"After much consideration and self-reflection, I have decided not to seek a third term as the mayor of this great city," Horrigan said in a late Tuesday news release.

Horrigan plans to complete his second term through December 2023, he said in the statement.

"My reasons for not running are my own, and they are without regret," Horrigan said in the statement.

Some people speculated Horrigan would not run for a third term. His second term was plagued with challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the fatal police shooting of Jayland Walker and subsequent protests and safety concerns.

Voters elected Horrigan in 2015 and again in 2019. During his tenure, he got the city's first anti-discrimination ordinance passed, focused on infrastructure improvements and created a Health Equity Summit. More recently, he advocated for the creation of a civilian police review board - which was recently passed by city council amid some concerns and frustration.

Before becoming mayor, Horrigan served as a Ward 1 Councilman for 8 years and was the Summit County Clerk of Courts.

Three people have already announced they will run for mayor in 2023. Current Deputy Mayor Marco Sommerville announced his candidacy Tuesday evening, just hours after Horrigan’s statement.

In a press release, Sommerville said Horrigan shared his decision to not seek reelection with him previously.

“Having prior knowledge of his decision gave mean opportunity to reflect, consider, and discuss with my family the opportunity to further serve my city in a new capacity,” Sommerville said in the statement. “My commitment to this city , the continued growth of our economy, and the well-being of everyone who calls this great city home is unwavering.” 

Sommerville is also the owner of a funeral home, Sommerville Funeral Services, and was a long-time Ward 3 Councilman. He was succeeded by his daughter, Margo Sommerville, the current president of council.

Current Ward 8 Councilman Shammas Malik has also declared his candidacy, as well as consultant Joshua Schaffer.

In a statement, Malik said he appreciates Horrigan's service to the Akron community.

"The question we face as a city now is what future do we want to create for Akron? Akron is facing some tough challenges, and it’s time for all of us to come together to tackle them," Malik added in the statement. "If we listen to each other and include everyone’s voices in solving these problems, I know we will create a new and exciting future for Akron, together.”

Ward 5 Councilwoman Tara Mosley is considering running as well.

“I am considering a mayoral run, but right now, I’m working tirelessly to serve Akronites on Council and to support Democratic candidates up and down the ballot here in Summit County,” she said in a statement Wednesday. “I applaud Mayor Horrigan for the positive steps he’s made to better our city and remains committed to the important work necessary to truly deliver an Akron that works for all our residents.”

The Democratic primary takes place in May. No Republicans have yet announced they'll run, so the winner of the primary is likely to be Akron's next mayor.

Read Horrigan's full release below.

"After much consideration and self-reflection, I have decided not to seek a third term as the mayor of this great city.

My reasons are my own, and they are without regret. It is the honor of my professional lifetime to serve as Akron’s 62nd mayor. It is my intention to complete my second term through December 2023 with the same vigor and integrity that I hope I have displayed so far. There’s still more work to be done.

I’d like to thank the Akron community that continues to place their trust in me as a leader. Many of you have supported my vision for the community throughout my tenure as Mayor, and some through almost 30 years of public service.

Finally, thank you to my family. My wife Deanna, daughters Cassidy, Kennedy and Camille, granddaughters Luca and Winter, my mom, sisters, brother and all who have supported me throughout this time. I’ve been blessed beyond belief."

Updated: October 5, 2022 at 12:05 PM EDT
This story has been updated.
Anna Huntsman covers Akron, Canton and surrounding communities for Ideastream Public Media.