City Councilman David Mann running for mayor in 2021

Cincinnati City Councilperson David Mann says he is running for mayor.
Cincinnati City Councilperson David Mann says he is running for mayor.(City of Cincinnati website)
Updated: May. 26, 2020 at 5:24 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Cincinnati City Councilmember David Mann says he is running for mayor in 2021.

In a letter to donors provided to FOX19 NOW, Mann says he is motivated to run in part by the pandemic.

“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 wrote.

The full letter is included at the end of this article.

Mann confirmed his candidacy to FOX19 NOW by text message Tuesday afternoon.

The term-limited Democrat filed campaign paperwork and formed an exploratory committee to raise money for the race in February.

His run for mayor will come after a turbulent council term during which several of his fellow council members were embroiled in a text message controversy and one was forced to resign upon separate allegations of bribery.

Still, should he win, Mann would inherit a city with a growing population, an expanding tax base, a rapidly redeveloping urban core and the promise of a modern bus-transit system.

In that context, Mann writes in his donor letter: “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. More than ever, we need a plan for economic growth which includes benefits across our community. At every step, we must make sure our recovery touches as many neighborhoods and citizens as possible. I believe I can provide this needed leadership.”

In council sessions Mann, chair of council’s budget and finance committee, has provided a levelheaded voice, often acting to diffuse ideological arguments with probing questions and analysis.

He has shown support for issues such as marijuana legalization, pedestrian safety, transit and infrastructure improvements and zoning changes to enhance urban redevelopment.

Mann has also been willing to engage on the streetcar, such as working to eliminate fares, while the predominant tone elsewhere remains acrimonious and sarcastic.

Previously Mann served on city council from 1974-92. He returned to council upon his reelection in 2013.

He served one term as representative for Ohio’s 1st congressional district before losing to Republican Steve Chabot in 1994.

He also served as mayor of Cincinnati from 1980-82 and again in 1991.

Mann most recently came in second to Councilmember P.G. Sittenfeld during the city’s 2017 council election, netting 35,789 votes to his Democratic counterpart’s 39,815, according to Ballotpedia.

Sittenfeld has also been ramping up to run for mayor.

According to Mann’s city profile page, he currently practices civil rights and discrimination law with his son, Michael, at their firm Mann & Mann.

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