CLEVELAND -- Businessman Ken Lanci announced he is challenging Frank Jackson in the race to be Cleveland's next mayor.
Lanci, 63, chairman and chief executive of Consolidated Graphics Group Inc., made the announcementat his business at 1614 East 40th St.
WKYC's Tom Beres says Lanci is focusing on three areas: providing a quality education for the children of our residents, providing residents with safe neighborhoods and creating jobs for current and future residents.
"The city must be measured by the quality of the lives of the people that live in the city. I'm here to let residents know they have not been forgotten. I'm here to let them know that they deserve better," Lanci said.
Lanci's challengeto Jackson claims the city's leader needs to be more focused on bringing new jobs and businesses here and bring a bigger, more collaborative vision to the region's problems.
Citing statements Jackson made during several state of the city presentations, Lanci outlined why Jackson does not deserve another four years.
For example, in Jackson's 2006 state of the city, he said, "to truly improve the quality of life and make Cleveland a city of choice, we have to create educational excellence for our children."
Instead, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District has dropped to the worst possible school rating of Academic Emergency after eight years of this mayor's direction.
Lanci also cited increased crime and poverty rates in Cleveland as reasons for the decline in quality of life for residents.
Lanci was born and raised ina housing project on the eastside of Cleveland at East 110th Street and Woodland Avenue.
At the age of 19, he rescued the family business from bankruptcy, according to his press release. Since then, Lanci has built numerous businesses and turned around many failing businesses, making them successful.
His current business, Consolidated Graphics Group Inc. employees over 150 people of which, many live in the city of Cleveland.
"The present state of the quality of life for the residents of Cleveland is unacceptable," Lanci said. "If elected mayor, I will fight for the residents of Cleveland. They deserve better. As your mayor, together we will do better."
"I'm not trash-talking Frank...I'm going to talk about the facts and his record. I feel Frank Jackson is a good man. I also feel he has done his best. However, I fear being involoved in city politics for 30 years has given him a sense of , it is what it is," Lanci declared.
Lanci was an unsuccessful candidatefor Cuyahoga County Executive.
Jackson is running for his third term. He has said he will seek reelection to make sure the Cleveland schools transformation plan is implemented.
Lanci is running as a Democrat.The two top finishers in an open primary will face off on Election Day in November.
From Mayor Jackson, WKYC gotthis response, "He's got a right to run for office. That's the beauty of American democracy."