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Former Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed Enters Mayoral Race

A photo of Zack Reed
Nick Castele
Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed talks with reporters outside a home in the Union-Miles neighborhood in this 2017 file photo.

Updated: 4:50 p.m., Monday, March 22, 2021

Former Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed launched a second bid for mayor, making the announcement in a video tweet Monday morning.

A Democrat, Reed recently stepped down as minority affairs coordinator for Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a job he’s held for the last two years.

Reed finished second in Cleveland’s 2017 mayoral primary, losing to Mayor Frank Jackson by 19 points in the November election.

While a member of city council, Reed was outspoken on the issue of gun violence, and his previous mayoral run included a platform of hiring more police officers. Reed said Monday he still believes the city needs to hire more officers, but that it will take a better community policing program to reduce violence and improve neighborhood trust.

“You want to be able to have police officers that are out engaging in those communities with the people in the community,” he said. “It starts with making sure we have enough police officers on the street. And then it comes with a mindset.”

Reed said he would make public health a plank in his platform, too, highlighting the COVID-19 pandemic and Cleveland’s high rates of infant mortality and lead poisoning.

Reed is the first top-tier candidate to officially jump into this year’s race, though others – including City Council President Kevin Kelley and former Mayor Dennis Kucinich  – are raising money and collecting signatures to get their names on the ballot.

Jackson, first elected mayor in 2005, has not said whether he will seek a fifth term in office. The mayor has not raised money for a 2021 campaign, according to the latest available financial disclosures.

The non-partisan primary is in September. The top two primary vote-getters move on to the general election in November.

Copyright 2021 90.3 WCPN ideastream. To see more, visit 90.3 WCPN ideastream.

Nick Castele is a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media.