Courtesy Justin Bibb / Zack Reed
2021 Cleveland mayoral candidates Justin Bibb (L) and Zack Reed (R).
Nonprofit executive Justin Bibb and former Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed have now formally submitted their petitions to run for Mayor of Cleveland.
Bibb and Reed separately dropped off their signatures at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Thursday morning, joining State Senator Sandra Williams as official candidates. Assuming at least 3,000 of their submitted signatures are valid, they will appear on the Sep. 14 primary ballot.
Bibb noted that his signatures were gathered by 235 volunteer circulators — he has, he claims, an "unmatched volunteer base," — and said that the effort was indicative of his campaign's grassroots appeal.
“Residents told us they want to see new leadership and a fresh perspective in City Hall and I’ll be that Mayor," Bibb said in a press release. "Clevelanders are looking for a leader who will fight for our future with a sense of urgency and energy that we are missing right now. I believe I am the right leader for the right time and our moment has arrived."
In a phone call from the BOE, Bibb told Scene that in the coming weeks, he plans to continue attending fundraisers and meet and greets and knocking on doors citywide.
"We're hitting the pavement as hard as we possibly can," he said, "spreading the word that Cleveland can't wait for new leadership."
Reed, who ran for Cleveland Mayor in 2017 and most recently worked for Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, characterized this morning as a pivotal moment in his campaign.
"It’s time for me to shift my focus to listening to the residents, who will help me shape the vision for our future,” Reed said.
Earlier this month, Reed opened his campaign headquarters in the city's Mt. Pleasant neighborhood, where he served as councilman for more than a decade.
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