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David Mann pondering return to Cincinnati council

Democrat David Mann - a former Cincinnati mayor and congressman whose name hasn't been on the ballot since 1994 - is seriously considering a political comeback this year as a candidate for Cincinnati City Council.

"I've described myself as a recovering politician all these years; and maybe I am not,'' said Mann, with a laugh.

The 73-year-old lawyer told WVXU Wednesday that he still has "a passion for public service, which I think is a great privilege. And I think I have something to offer."

Mann said he will make a final decision "very soon."

Mann lost his seat in Congress in 1994 to Republican Steve Chabot, when Newt Gingrich led Republicans to their first take-over of the U.S. House in decades.

Many newer voters have never seen Mann's name on the ballot.

"I will work hard,'' Mann said. "If I do it, I'll have to go out and earn every vote."

Mann served on Cincinnati City Council from 1974 to 1992, the year he was elected to Congress. He was mayor of the city from 1980 to 1982 and again in 1991.

In recent years, he has been practicing law with his son. He is also one of the co-founders of Beyond Civility, an organization that promotes civil discussion and understanding among people of differing political points of view.

Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman Tim Burke said he has discussed the possibility with Mann and said "it is my impression that it is quite likely he will do it."

"He has been out talking to a lot of people about it and getting a lot of encouragement,'' Burke said. "He would be a great addition to city council."

Howard Wilkinson is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.