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Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley: ‘Of course’ I’m running for governor

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley is also running.
Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 6:32 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (Enquirer/FOX19) – Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley hasn’t officially launched a gubernatorial bid, but there’s no question in the Democrat’s mind that he’s running.

In a Tuesday call to the USA Today Network Ohio bureau, Cranley rattled off his plans to reform appointments to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, which oversees utilities, and institute a consumer ratepayer bill of rights, vetting fees tacked onto Ohioans’ electric bills.

Those are changes only the governor can make, so it begged the question: Are you running for governor?

“Of course,” Cranley replied, citing his fundraising efforts and plans to launch a bid officially in the coming months. “I’ll be rolling out a whole platform throughout the summer.”

In an interview with FOX19, Cranley said his experience working with businesses to grow the population of Cincinnati will translate t the state level. He said he would appoint different board members to Jobs Ohio, the nonprofit organization tasked with statewide economic development.

“Getting good-paying jobs that build the infrastructure that we need in this state, like high-speed internet, cleaner water, advanced manufacturing, so that people can have that middle-class life that we grew up accustomed to,” Cranley said of his goals.

Cranley’s gubernatorial ambitions would set up a primary with Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, a fellow Democrat and friend. Together, they formed the Ohio Mayors Alliance, a bipartisan effort to lobby state lawmakers on topics important to municipalities.

Cranley has taken the steps needed to launch a credible bid. He created a fundraising committee for governor in February 2020 and raised about $500,000 in the second half of last year. He has traveled the state talking with reporters and fellow Democrats. His Twitter account reads like a man running for governor, not the mayor of Cincinnati.

But in other ways, Cranley is already behind. Whaley launched her campaign on April 19 and has since vacuumed up endorsements from Statehouse Democrats and unions. Whaley spent Tuesday detailing how she would address corruption in Columbus if elected.

Still, the filing deadline is months away, and others have waited to jump into the political fray. Democrat Rich Cordray didn’t launch a bid for governor until December 2017.

On the other side of the aisle, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine could face a primary challenge from former U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, current Rep. Warren Davidson or farmer Joe Blystone.

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