Maple Heights Mayor Annette Blackwell suspends campaign for Cuyahoga County executive | #socialmedia

Maple Heights Mayor Annette Blackwell is out of the race for Cuyahoga County executive.

The second-term suburban mayor told Ideastream Public Media on Tuesday that she is suspending her campaign. According to a news release, Blackwell will instead focus on serving out the remaining two years in her term.

“The City of Maple Heights is very special to me,” she said in the release. “During my tenure as Mayor, we have moved the city out of fiscal emergency, attracted dozens of employers to the city, including Gojo Industries, and increased our population after more than four decades of population loss.”

Blackwell launched her campaign early last month and was the only woman in the running to lead county government. The Cuyahoga County Democratic Women’s Caucus wished the mayor well on social media.

“We are saddened but respect her decision and her commitment to the residents of Maple Heights,” caucus chair Cindy Demsey wrote in a tweet. “An extraordinary leader and executive, we wish her continued success.”

A Democrat, Blackwell would have faced former University Circle Incorporated leader Chris Ronayne in the primary this spring.

But the field isn’t yet set. Another southeast suburban mayor, Brad Sellers of Warrensville Heights, is said to be a likely Democratic entrant to the race. Sellers told Ideastream Public Media last week that he would make a decision by Jan. 5.

Only one Republican, former county commissioner Lee Weingart, has pulled petitions to run for county executive so far.

The winner of this year’s race will become the county’s third elected executive since the transition to a new county government a dozen years ago.

Incumbent Armond Budish opted late last year not to seek another term. He succeeded Ed FitzGerald, who mounted an unsuccessful bid for governor in 2014 rather than seek reelection.

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