CLEVELAND (WOIO) - Ohio State Senator Sandra Williams announced Monday morning she’s running for Cleveland mayor.
Williams, a Democrat, is currently in her second term representing Cleveland and other parts of Cuyahoga County in the Ohio Senate. If elected, she would be the first Black female mayor of Cleveland.
She also sponsored legislation named after Alianna DeFreeze, a 14-year-old from Cleveland who was kidnapped and murdered on her way to school in January 2017. The bill would require schools to notify parents within two hours of their child failing to show up to school.
Williams drew criticism for her support of House Bill 6, the bill at the center of a $60 million bribery scheme.
Previously, Williams served in the U.S. Army Reserve before she was honorably discharged in 1995. She’s also served as a corrections officer, mediator, and legislative aide.
Williams is a Cleveland native who was born in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood. She graduated from John Hay High School before attending Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland State, and Tiffin University.
She joins former City Councilman Zack Reed, City Council President Kevin Kelley, and nonprofit executive Justin Bibb in announcing their candidacy for mayor.
Incumbent Mayor Frank Jackson has not yet officially said whether he’ll run for a fifth term.
The primary election for the mayoral race in Cleveland is this September. The two people who win the highest percentage of the vote will advance to the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 2.