Cincinnati Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman says he will not run for mayor in 2021.
Smitherman made the announcement in a letter posted to social media. He confirmed the announcement in a message to WVXU.
"As a widowed father of five, I have a higher calling at this time," he writes. "I am determined to give my children as much love and attention as I can. Running for mayor would make that impossible."
Smitherman's wife, Pamela, died last year - his announcement comes on the one-year anniversary of her passing - and the council member says he and his family are still trying to figure out their "new normal."
The decision not to run for mayor doesn't mean Smitherman, an Independent, intends to pull back from public service. He says he'll continue to serve on Cincinnati City Council and leaves the door open for future political ambitions.
"This statement defines a pause, not an end, to my political aspirations," he writes. "I look forward to a return to the pursuit of higher service when the time is right."
Smitherman was named vice mayor in 2017, and was widely expected to seek the seat being vacated by current Mayor John Cranely, who is term-limited.
You can read the full letter below or by following this link.
— Christopher Smitherman (@voteSmitherman) January 15, 2020