Cincinnati mayor John Cranley announced on Friday that he is exploring a run for the governorship of Ohio. Cranley, a Democrat, is the first person to announce candidacy for the 2022 gubernatorial election.
Aside from being elected mayor in 2013, Cranley’s political resume also includes a seat on Cincinnati City Council from 2000 to 2009. Cranley is additionally a co-founding member of the Ohio Innocence Project at the University of Cincinnati and served as administrative director from 2002 to 2006.
Cranley attended St. Xavier High School and went on to graduate magna cum laude from John Carroll University. He later earned his Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School and a master’s in theology from the Harvard Divinity School.
Cranley seems to be looking to tout Cincinnati’s recent success in his potential campaign.
“I am exploring a run for governor because Ohio is falling behind and must do better,” Cranley said. “Cincinnati’s comeback, population and job growth that buck Ohio’s overall track record is a better way forward.”
Cranley’s announcement did come with some backlash, however.
“Ohioans would be wise to steer clear of electing John Cranley to any statewide office,” the chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party Alex Triantafilou said. “The chaos and poor governance at City Hall have no place in the Statehouse.”
Cranley has faced multiple controversies as mayor. He came under fire in 2018 during an attempt to remove then-City Council Manager Harry Black from office after Black fired a high-ranking police official. Black later resigned.
Cranley also faced public backlash over the city’s decision to put F.C. Cincinnati’s new stadium in the West End.
Sophomore political science major Liam Flannery was hesitant when asked if Cranley would have a successful run at governor. “He’s such a centrist,” Flannery said. “Because Ohio is such a red state, it’s going to be hard for him to overcome the incumbency advantage.”
Other potential candidates who may announce a plan to run in the future include Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and U.S. Representative Tim Ryan from Ohio’s thirteenth congressional district, which includes areas east of Akron and Youngstown.