Cincinnati mayoral race shrinks to five candidates

Seelbach drops out, makes way for Mann, Pureval, Prather, Thomas and Young

by mo juenger, world news editor

City Councilman Chris Seelbach dropped out of the Cincinnati mayoral race yesterday, broadening horizons for the five other current candidates. 

Councilman David Mann, Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval, activist and occupational therapist Kelli Prather, Ohio state Sen. Cecil Thomas and Councilman Wendell Young are the candidates still in the running. All candidates remaining are Democrats.

Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld also announced a bid for the mayoral election, but he is ineligible after a corruption indictment in November. 

Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman dropped out of the race in January, adding that he wished to spend more time with his family. 

Seelbach expressed that he never intended to be a career politician because he wanted to give back to his community. Though he made no announcements as to his plans for the future, he clarified that he does not intend to remain in electoral politics. 

The Cincinnati mayoral election will be held on Nov. 2, 2021. It will be the city’s first mayoral election in four years. 

David Mann

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Mann has been a councilmember since 2013 and was appointed vice mayor by current Mayor John Cranley before that. Major tenets of his campaign include legislation to end corruption at City Hall, improvement of police-community relations and economic recovery from the pandemic. 

Aftab Pureval

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Pureval has been clerk of courts since 2016, the first Democrat elected to that position in 100 years. Though Pureval has not released any formal campaign stances yet, he has stated that he will prioritize racial equity. He also plans for an “aggressive” economic recovery program in the context of COVID-19.

Kelli Prather

Photo courtesy of
@KPForthepeople on Twitter

Prather has run for office in several arenas, including in City Council and Ohio State Congress, but not yet been elected. “Health care, public safety  and affordable housing will be several of Ms. Prather’s top priorities,” her campaign announcement stated. She also plans to address gun violence in Cincinnati.   

Cecil Thomas

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Thomas has been an Ohio state senator since 2014 and was on Cincinnati City Council beforehand. Prior to his political career, he was a police officer and worked to hire more female and minority officers. As a councilmember, he worked to decrease youth crime in the city through outreach initiatives. 

Wendell Young (left)

Photo courtesy of @wendellyoung on Twitter
Cincinnati City Councilman Wendell Young (center left) is running for mayor as he term-limits out of the council.

Young has been a councilman since 2011 and was notably involved in the “Gang of Five” controversy in 2019. While on council, Young has been involved in legislation to promote racial equity, reduce infant mortality and eliminate food deserts in the city. He has also been involved with the city’s municipal water system.