(Cleveland) -- Businessman Ken Lanci has kicked off a campaign for mayor of Cleveland.
Lanci's only previous political campaign was his run for Cuyahoga County executive, in which he came in third.
Lanci tells WTAM 1100 he's running for mayor because he learned during that campaign that a lot needs to be done in Cleveland, in terms of education, safety and jobs. He says it "laid a heavy burden" on his heart. According to Lanci, he has the right ideas, but he says nobody will listen to those ideas unless you are in charge, and that's why he's running for mayor.
Why should people vote for Lanci and not re-elect Mayor Frank Jackson to a third term? Lanci says Jackson has been in political office for so many years, he "has an attitude of It is what it is, and that's not good for residents" of Cleveland.
During an appearance on Sunday night’s “The Forum” on WTAM 1100, Jackson said Lanci has every right to run. Jackson also says he’s never run for an office unopposed.
However, Baldwin-Wallace University political science professor Tom Sutton thinks Lanci will face a tough opponent in Jackson, who has many political connections, and a lot of recent successes. That included passage of a new school levy, approval of a school transformation plan, and a resurgent downtown.
Dr. Sutton says that's why no opponents have stepped forward until now. He also says that Lanci is a longtime resident of Brecksville, and recently bought an apartment in Cleveland so he can run for office. Sutton thinks some residents may see him as a “meddling outsider”.
Lanci says he lived in Brecksville briefly because he had a lease he could not break, and considers himself a life-long Cleveland resident.
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