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Kahlil Seren elected as first mayor in history of Cleveland Heights

Prior to this year, Cleveland Heights’ local government had been run using a city manager.

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Editor's Note: The above video features reporting on the Cleveland mayoral result

For the first time in the city’s history, the people of Cleveland Heights have elected a mayor.

In a close race, Kahlil Seren defeated Barbara Danforth. Seren earned 60 percent of the vote to Danforth’s 40 percent.

ELECTION RESULTS: See the outcome of every race and issue

Seren has served on the Cleveland Heights City Council since 2015, and also was selected as the Vice Mayor/Council Vice President and Chair of the Administrative Services Committee back in 2020.

As for Danforth, she was the CEO of the YWCA of Greater Cleveland as well as Summit Academy Management Company, a non-profit that provides educational services for children with diverse learning styles. She also has government experience serving as Chief Counsel for the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services, the Chief Prosecutor for the City of Cleveland, the Assistant Attorney General in the State of Iowa, and more.

Tuesday's election wasn’t the first time these two squared off, as there was a primary race in which Danforth took home just over 46 percent of the vote while Seren finished with just under 38 percent.

Both candidates are Democrats, but Seren is the more progressive of the two. He went into election night with endorsements from many, including the Democrats of Cuyahoga County, Cleveland Heights Democrats, Cleveland Stonewall Democrats, Ohio Young Democrats, Sen. Sherrod Brown, and Melody Joy Heart, who was a candidate for the mayoral seat before losing to both Danforth and Seren in the primary.

Seren ran on the H.O.P.E.S. Plan, which his website explains will help Cleveland Heights to create a healthy, open, prosperous, equitable, and safe city.

Prior to this year, Cleveland Heights’ local government had been run on a manager-run system, but was voted to change to implement an elected mayor back in 2019. Seren will serve a four-year term after his victory.

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