Nonprofit executive Justin Bibb was the top vote-getter, followed by Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley.
“I want everyone to know how proud I am of the campaign you have worked on,” Kucinich told supporters Tuesday night. “And I think we can be proud of the campaign Justin Bibb has run.”
During his concession speech, Kucinich said he looks forward spending more time with his wife and “feeding and refreshing” friendships forged during the election. His campaign focused on creating a safer, more peaceful Cleveland.
Kucinich was elected mayor of Cleveland in 1977 at age 31 and served a tumultuous two-year tenure that included a recall election that he survived. Given his age, Kucinich earned the nickname “the boy mayor of Cleveland.”
In 1996, Kucinich won an election to represent Ohio’s 10th District in the U.S. House. He would serve eight terms, during which he emerged as one of Congress’s staunchest critics of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Kucinich introduced articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney for starting the war.
He also sponsored legislation to create universal pre-K and abolish the death penalty. He was the second chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus after its founder, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Kucinich proposed the creation of a Cabinet-level agency to promote peace domestically and abroad — a long-shot dream that died when he left office.
Kucinich unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in both 2004 and 2008.
In his first bid, he traded on his antiwar credentials to shore up celebrity endorsements and a loyal grass-roots base of support. Even though he didn’t win a single nominating contest, he refused to drop out until just before the Democratic National Convention.
The Cleveland mayoral candidates are seeking to succeed the city’s retiring Democratic mayor, Frank G. Jackson.
Colby Itkowitz contributed to this report.