Former Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic Will Not Seek Eighth Term

Former Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic at a press conference on a construction site in 2014.
Don Plusquellic shortly after back surgery in 2014 [Mark Urycki / ideastream]
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Former Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic says he will not run for mayor this year. The Democrat and longest serving mayor in the city’s history had been considering a run as an independent to take on incumbent Democrat Daniel Horrigan.

In a written statement Thursday, Plusquellic says, “I made the needs of this city a priority for 41&1/2 years of my life. But because I do not want to miss seeing my youngest grandchildren in plays and participating in sports and believe it would not be fair to try to balance that priority with the rigors of running a city under the difficult circumstances that Mayor Horrigan faces, including huge cutbacks in support from state and federal governments and some of the horrible people presently on City Council, I will not run for Mayor of Akron.”

Plusquellic’s three youngest grandchildren live in Florida. 

The 69-year-old said in February he was as fit as he was at age 40, but now says he’s had a another problem with a disc in his back and doesn’t want to aggravate it if he was working full time.

Instead, Plusquellic is focusing his attention on helping in several city council races.

Mayor Horrigan is supporting a slate of council members that would take the seats of some at-large incumbents, while Plusquellic is backing his slate of Jeff Fusco, Ginger Baylor, and Marilyn Keith. 

“I pledge to do what I can to help the good, honest leaders in Akron, including the Mayor and Council President Sommerville, elect better people to help them lead the city I still love,” writes Plusquellic.

The former mayor has complained that Horrigan has not promoted the international economic development efforts that Plusquellic had pursued. He was also critical of Horrigan for dropping the Summer Arts Experience for schoolkids. But despite reports of a prickly relationship between the two Democrats, Plusquellic says he’d like to work with his successor.

“Several community leaders have encouraged the Mayor and me to sit down and talk and we both have committed to do that,” he writes. “Hopefully we will have a continuous dialogue because in spite of some misleading statements in the articles that were written, there has not been a long standing feud between Dan Horrigan and me.

“Any differences I have with changes to programs that were important to me, I will attempt to deal with in our discussions.”

 

A previous version of this story referred to Mayor Dan Horrigan as Don Plusquellic’s predecessor. Horrigan took office after Plusquellic.

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