Warrensville Heights Mayor Brad Sellers enters Cuyahoga County executive race
CLEVELAND, Ohio – From community liaison to economic director to now mayor, Brad Sellers has spent more than two decades rebuilding his hometown of Warrensville Heights into a more attractive suburb for residents and businesses. But now he wants to try to be successful on a larger scale.
The sellers, Wednesday, officially announced his candidacy for the Cuyahoga County executive, relying heavily on references to his former NBA playing career to demonstrate his experience for the job after helping transform his hometown.
“But we have to be a game-changer across Cuyahoga County, and the place to make it happen is in the county executive office,” Sellers said. “I’m running for the opportunity to deliver for all of Cuyahoga County.”
He identified the county’s main challenges such as building a new prison, the future of the area’s airports and using one of the county’s greatest assets – the lakeside – “to the best possible use. “. It also prioritized strengthening safety net services and supporting all 59 municipalities in the county.
Sellers said he decided to join the race after two-term county executive Armond Budish announced he would not stand for re-election, leaving the door wide open for new leadership after nearly d ‘a decade of turmoil.
“I’m running for the county executive for the same reason I came back and for the same reason I ran for mayor: to make important things happen for Cuyahoga County,” said Sellers. “Residents of Cuyahoga County want, need and deserve more good things for themselves and should expect a county government that can do the job. “
Her entry widens the field of candidates to three again, after Maple Heights mayor Annette Blackwell withdrew from the race two days earlier. The Sellers will face Democratic challenger Chris Ronayne, the former head of University Circle Inc., in the primary. Republican Lee Weingart, former county commissioner, is also a candidate.
Candidates have until February 2 to file their case with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.
Competition is a good thing, Sellers said. Prior to his 22-year career serving Warrensville Heights, the 7-foot dad of four played basketball for Ohio State University and the Chicago Bulls before ending his career with multiple European teams.
The experience he brings to work, he said, is “very different” from that of his now challenger, Ronayne.
“The things we did in Warrensville, we did them from scratch,” with no additional funding, he said, referring to University Circle’s access to deeper resources. “Just getting people to believe in a vision … that’s how we developed this place.”
Sellers is the seventh mayor of Warrensville Heights, a town of nearly 14,000 people and 250 businesses located about 20 minutes from downtown Cleveland. He was first elected in 2011, but his service to the community goes back much further.
He also spent 11 years as Director of Economic Development under Marcia Fudge, the former mayor and now secretary of HUD who first recruited him to be a community liaison officer. He was instrumental in reviving the city from a struggling suburb with high foreclosure rates and vacant homes to a development hub.
Under Sellers’ leadership, the city has created 3,000 new jobs and more than $ 500 million in construction projects, according to the city’s website.
Growth has been slow, but steady.
In 2005, Marriott opened a 295-room hotel in the city, soon followed by the development of the Harvard Park shopping center. Then came the Castles of Emery Woods, a luxury real estate complex that continues to grow today.
In 2018, an Amazon fulfillment center was set up half a mile east of the government building, on the city’s border with North Randall.
General Electric Incorporated, Heinen’s Incorporated, Henkel Corporation, and Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes Corporation’s research and development and training center have also moved to Warrensville Heights, although Sherwin-Williams will soon move to a consolidated global headquarters in downtown Cleveland.
When complete, the move will result in a loss of over $ 1 million in income taxes and around 400 jobs for the city. It’s unclear how the existing facility will be used next, but Sellers said they hoped to reuse it.
Aside from his roles within the city, Sellers also sits on the board of directors that oversees the Global Center for Health Innovation and has supported the renovation of the building into an extension of the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland.
He is also a member of the 11-member Cuyahoga County Planning Commission and Greater Cleveland Athletic Commission, and previously chaired the District 1 Public Works Integration Committee.
He supported Budish through both terms and was part of the Executive Transition Team, leading the Government Effectiveness Group. He also backed the controversial deal to use public money to renovate the old Quicken Loans arena.
Sellers is also the half-brother of Zack Reed, a 16-year-old former Cleveland city councilor who twice unsuccessfully ran for Cleveland mayor, most notably finishing fourth in the 2021 primary against Mayor Justin. Bibb.