Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Former Cleveland Councilman Zack Reed Officially Launches Mayoral Campaign

Posted By on Mon, Mar 22, 2021 at 9:58 AM

  • Photo by Andrew Williams, courtesy of Zack Reed

As expected, former Cleveland City Councilman and 2017 mayoral contender Zack Reed has launched his campaign for Cleveland Mayor in 2021. Reed last week resigned from his post as a minority affairs coordinator with Secretary of State Frank LaRose. He had long said that stepping down from his state job was a prerequisite for his local run.

“I grew up in Cleveland. I have been in every neighborhood and probably every street,” said Reed, in a campaign announcement sent to the media Monday. “I am running for Mayor to make a difference in the lives of real people throughout this city. An amazing future is within our reach. As Cleveland’s next Mayor, we’re going to strengthen our neighborhoods, create more opportunities and ensure a better life for all residents.”

Reed's "vision," as outlined on his new campaign website, centers solutions to poverty, violence and "a lack of opportunity." He argues that inaction from leadership has resulted in Cleveland's current circumstances.

"The status quo is never good enough," he says.

In a conversation at the City Club in the aftermath of summer racial justice demonstrations, Reed rejected the notion of defunding the police, but said that he ne longer thought that increasing the number of police officers was the most effective way to combat violence. Bulking up the police force was central to his 2017 campaign.

On his current website, though, Reed says that hiring more officers is one of the first steps in building safer neighborhoods.

"This starts by hiring more officers, increasing police efficiency, response times, training and taking strong measures that hold them accountable," the vision page reads.

Reed listed a number of additional priorities, including holding the schools accountable, instituting new programs and partnerships at Cuyahoga Community College and overhauling the city's infrastructure.

A video that Reed shared on Twitter Monday shows the candidate talking to constituents across town, accompanied by a jaunty piano riff. He said he wants to "bring back positive energy" to a city where leadership obstructs, rather than promotes, progress.

"For me it's never been about some out of touch political agenda," he says, "It's about making a difference in the lives of real people."

Reed was an active campaigner in 2017 and won one of the top two spots in the primary election. He ultimately lost, in decisive fashion, to incumbent Frank Jackson. Reed is a lifelong resident of Cleveland's Mt. Pleasant neighborhood on the southeast side, an area he represented on city council from 2001-2017. He'll be competing for votes there with, among others, young executive Justin Bibb, one of the only serious candidates who has declared.

Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.

Tags: , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

June 16, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation