Cleveland City Councilman Jeff Johnson formally announced his candidacy for Mayor of Cleveland outside the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections at 1:30 p.m. today (Tuesday). He went inside and filled out the necessary paperwork to get petitions.
They must be filed by 4 p.m. June 29. Watch the event below.
Johnson, who represents Cleveland's 10th Ward, has been a councilman since 2009. He has also served in the Ohio Senate and as a Special Assistant and Director of Community Relations for then-Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell from 2002-2006.
Outside the board of elections, he said it is time to change the direction of the city. He plans to visit all 40 neighborhoods and assess the needs of each. He said different neighborhoods have different needs..
He said he's made some mistakes in his life and has paid for his mistakes. He assumes that current Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson will be his opponent.
He said he's a;so talked to Councilman Zack Reed, who has expressed an interest in running for mayor. Johnson said today he is not waiting for anyone before the race and plans to file the pettions as soon as possible.
Johnson says he respects Mayor Jackson.
He confirmed his intention to run for Mayor of Cleveland to WKYC Channel 3's Russ Mitchell on Monday evening:
Monday night on Facebook, Johnson wrote the following: I am running for Mayor of Cleveland. I know I will not have the support of everyone but I will spend the next 8 months working hard to gain the support of the majority of voters by focusing on where Cleveland is today and where I believe we have to be tomorrow. I'm going to win or lose based on whether the citizens of Cleveland feel their lives within the city and their situations have improved over the last 11 years. Whether City Hall has cared about them and supported them - or forgotten them. I ask for the help and support of my Facebook friends and others in the community. Let's get started....
Johnson added in his media release on Monday that "Neighborhoods matter. For too long, City Hall has ignored our great neighborhood and focused on the rich and powerful."
He was convicted on federal corruption charges in 1998 and was sentenced to 15 months in prison.
Johnson's formal announcement is set for 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.
Current Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has yet to announce if he will seek another term.