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David Mann Running For Cincinnati Mayor

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Democrat David Mann, who has served as Cincinnati mayor twice before, is once again throwing his hat into the ring of candidates hoping to replace current Mayor John Cranley, who is term limited, in 2021. 

The Business Courier was the first to report the news, saying he told supporters and potential campaign donors so in a recent letter. Mann told the outlet a formal announcement would come "later."

This will likely pit the 80-year-old Mann against fellow Democrat P.G. Sittenfeld, 35, who has been out actively raising campaign cash for the "Sittenfeld for Cincinnati" committee. Since he'll be term-limited off of council in 2021, that money would likely be for one thing: to run for mayor.

Christopher Smitherman - council's independent with largely Republican views - was also in the running for the job until January, when he announced he wouldn't be running for mayor following the death of his wife, Pamela. 

Speculation about a possible candidacy has centered around Mann, a legendary figure in Cincinnati City Hall, for some time. His tenure back in the 1980s and 1990s was when the mayor was a figurehead with next to no real power.

Now, Mann is head of the most powerful committee on council, Budget and Finance, after serving several years as vice mayor. Mann was elected to Congress in 1992. But he lost two years later to Republican Steve Chabot in the Newt Gingrich "Contract with America" election. Mann returned to City Council in 2013.

When asked about a potential run in January, Mann told WVXU Senior Political Analyst Howard Wilkinson that he wouldn't "dismiss the possibility." Though at the time, he said, his campaign fund consisted of $100. "I suppose we would have to go out and raise a whole lot more,'' Mann said.

Mann told Wilkinson he is not at all happy with the recent tenor on City Council or the antics of the "Gang of Five." Still, he refused to say anything negative about Sittenfeld or his council colleagues.

"If I do this, I'd talk about my vision for what this city can be,'' Mann said. "Some days I think the 'good old days' weren't so bad, when we had people here like Bobbie Sterne and Gene Ruehlmann. Serious people." 

Howard Wilkinson contributed to this report.

Jennifer Merritt brings 20 years of "tra-digital" journalism experience to WVXU.