John Cranley

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John Cranley
69th Mayor of Cincinnati
Assumed office
December 1, 2013 (2013-12-01)
Preceded by Mark Mallory
Member of the Cincinnati City Council
In office
Personal details
Born John Joseph Cranley
(1974-02-28) February 28, 1974 (age 43)
Green Township, Hamilton County, Ohio, United States
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Dena; 1 child

John Joseph Cranley (born February 28, 1974) is the mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio. A member of the Democratic Party, he was a member of the Cincinnati city council and a partner of City Lights Development. Cranley is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard Divinity School and co-founder of the Ohio Innocence Project at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Before his election as mayor, he was an attorney with the law firm of Keating Muething & Klekamp. He is running for reelection in the Cincinnati mayoral election, 2017.


Cranley was born in Green Township to John Joseph "Jay" Cranley (born 1946) and his wife, Susan (born 1947). His father is a life estate planner and Vietnam veteran who served in the United States Army, and his mother a former teacher and librarian. Cranley was raised in the Price Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati.[1] He attended St. William's Primary School and graduated from St. Xavier High School in 1992. He graduated from John Carroll University magna cum laude in Philosophy and Political Science and served twice as student body president. He earned his JD (juris doctorate) from Harvard Law School and a Master of Theological Studies from the Harvard Divinity School. He taught two undergraduate legal and philosophy courses at Harvard College while attending graduate school. During his second and third years at Harvard Law School, he worked as a student attorney for people who could not afford legal counsel. In his third year of law school, he was elected First Class Marshal and delivered the Harvard Law School graduation speech on behalf of his class.[citation needed]

Cincinnati City Council[edit]

Cranley served on city council from 2000-09.[2] In 2003, he led the push to create Tax Increment Finance districts in Cincinnati.[3] Cranley served on the following committees: Arts, Culture, Tourism & Marketing; Economic Development; Law and Public Safety; and the Transportation & Infrastructure sub-committee. Cranley resigned from City Council in 2009 after seeking advice from the Ohio Ethics Commission.[4]

Incline District Development[edit]

Cranley worked to restore the historic Incline District of East Price Hill. He developed a $5 million project which consists of condominiums and a restaurant.[5]

Ohio Innocence Project[edit]

Cranley co-founded the Ohio Innocence Project at the University of Cincinnati College of Law and served as administrative director from 2002-2006. The Project has thus far exonerated seventeen wrongly convicted individuals.[6] Cranley's argument before Ohio's 5th Appellate District Court led to the reversal of Christopher Lee Bennett's conviction of aggravated vehicular homicide. Bennett had served four years of a nine-year sentence before the Project was able to use DNA to help overturn his conviction.[7]

Political campaigns[edit]

In 2000 and 2006, Cranley lost in Ohio's 1st congressional district race to incumbent Steve Chabot, with 45% of the vote in 2000, and 48% of the vote in 2006.

Cranley won the September 2013 primary election for mayor of Cincinnati, defeating Roxanne Qualls in the November 2013 mayoral election.[8][9] He was sworn in on December 1, 2013.

Cranley is running for reelection in Cincinnati mayoral election, 2017. His leading opponent is Yvette Simpson[10][11][12] according to a poll sponsored by Simpson.[13]

Additional Service[edit]

Mayor Cranley serves on the boards of the Freestore Foodbank, Mercy Hospital Foundation, and the Jesuit Spiritual Center.[14][citation needed] Cranley was named a 2014 Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow.[15][citation needed]


  1. ^ John Cranley profile,; accessed April 21, 2014.
  2. ^ Cincinnati City Council website; accessed April 21, 2014.
  3. ^ "TIF districts set to spur development". Retrieved 2013-02-06. 
  4. ^ "Cranley to resign from Cincinnati City Council". Retrieved 2013-11-11. 
  5. ^ "Cranley to sever ties with Incline Village". April 3, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2013. 
  6. ^ "A Conversation with Clarence Elkins and Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro". Archived from the original on 2007-04-16. Retrieved 2013-02-06. 
  7. ^ "Second Man Earns Freedom as Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Ohio Innocence Project". Retrieved 2013-02-06. 
  8. ^ Cincinnati mayoral primary: Cranley sweeps past Qualls by 2,000 votes Archived 2013-09-12 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Cranley elected next mayor of Cincinnati". Retrieved April 21, 2014. 
  10. ^ Wilkinson, Howard (August 10, 2016). "Yvette Simpson Launches 2017 Mayoral Campaign To Unseat Cranley". WVXU. Retrieved October 25, 2016. 
  11. ^ Swartsell, Nick (August 17, 2016). "Mayoral race underlines rift among Cincinnati Democrats". Cincinnati CityBeat. Retrieved October 25, 2016. 
  12. ^ Williams, Jason (February 16, 2017). "Cincinnati mayor's race is set". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved February 17, 2017. 
  13. ^ Wetterich, Chris (March 6, 2017). "EXCLUSIVE: Yvette Simpson has a poll in the Cincinnati mayor's race. Here's what it says.". Cincinnati Business Courier. Retrieved March 8, 2017. 
  14. ^ Cranley official campaign site; accessed April 21, 2014.
  15. ^ "About the Rodel Fellowship Program". 
Political offices
Preceded by
Mark Mallory
Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio
Succeeded by