Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich launches Cleveland mayoral campaign; pledges to create a safe, peaceful city

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich held a news conference at 5 p.m. on Monday, where he announced he’s running for mayor of Cleveland.

Kucinich served as Cleveland mayor from 1977 to 1979 and was often referred to as, “The boy mayor.”

During his announcement, he pledged to create a safe and peaceful city and push for teaching children in the schools how to live peacefully with one another.

He says he also plans to invest in the police department where officers are equipped to protect the community.

In response to a question from the media who asked about how he plans to fund upgrades to policing in the city:

“It’s raining bullets in our neighborhoods,” he said. “We are getting $540 million in government aid. The money is there. It’s a matter of priority.

He says he will work to combat homelessness and along with resources brought in by his wife, Professor Elizabeth Kucinich, will work to lift up the community, “with a little bit of hope and a little bit of effort.”

“The government should be there to help others,” he said.

He was a member of Cleveland City Council and the Ohio Senate before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1997. Kucinich was defeated by Rep. Marcy Kaptur in 2012 after districts were redrawn.

He joins an already-crowded field in the mayoral race. State Sen. Sandra Williams, former City Councilman Zack Reed and nonprofit leader Justin Bibb have filed their petitions, while Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley and City Councilman Basheer Jones announced their campaigns.

Council President Kelley is expected to file his petitions at the Board of Elections tomorrow afternoon.

Watch his full announcement in the video above.

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