Kucinich Forms Fundraising Group For Cleveland Mayoral Race

Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich, shown here conceding the Ohio Democratic gubernatorial primary to Richard Cordray in 2018, filed paperwork to raise money for a potential Cleveland mayoral bid.
Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich, shown here conceding the Ohio Democratic gubernatorial primary to Richard Cordray in 2018, filed paperwork to raise money for a potential Cleveland mayoral bid. [Nick Castele / ideastream]
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The “Dennis!” yard signs aren’t back out quite yet, but former Rep. Dennis Kucinich has taken a step toward a Cleveland mayoral bid.

Kucinich filed paperwork with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections this past week to form the “Reelect Mayor Kucinich” campaign fundraising committee, according to Joe Tegreene, an attorney acting as treasurer for the committee. 

That’s reelection to the job he held 41 years ago.

Kucinich, a former presidential candidate, has not yet pulled petitions to put his name on next year’s ballot. He served as Cleveland mayor from 1977 to 1979.

He has been vocal lately on the same issue that came to define his single term as mayor four decades ago: Cleveland Public Power, the city-owned electric utility once known colloquially as Muny Light.

The Democrat has criticized the city for ending a pandemic moratorium on water and electric shutoffs. He has written a book, titled “The Division of Light and Power,” recounting his battle as mayor to stop the utility’s privatization.

Mayor Frank Jackson has not ruled out a run for a fifth term in office. Asked at a Friday news conference whether he would seek reelection, Jackson chuckled and said he would make a decision next year.

“Believe me, I stay focused on doing my work, putting work in,” Jackson said. “If I said I was running, the target, political target would be so large that I couldn’t get anything done by dealing with the BS and the drama of it. And if I said I wasn’t running, then I couldn’t even get a phone call returned.”

Council President Kevin Kelley is often mentioned as a potential 2021 mayoral candidate. He launched a “Kevin Kelly For Cleveland” campaign website earlier this year and produced an almost 7-minute biographical video reintroducing himself to city voters.

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