Cleary to run for reelection

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 4, 2003

Mayor Bob Cleary will run for reelection this November because he wants to finish what the administration has started.

Cleary, 53, filed his petition to run for the office with the Lawrence County Board of Elections Friday. Charles D. "Duke" Sheridan and Councilman John Elam declared their candidacy earlier this summer.

The current mayor said he is excited about the direction the city is going in and wants to be a part of the future

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"I love Ironton. I want to see it prosper," Cleary said. "With all the projects we have started and commitments that have been made to us, I would like to be here to carry it through to fruition and make Ironton prosperous again."

Projects Cleary and his administration are proud of include attracting the Liebert Corporation to the city, helping Muth Lumber get the funding to create jobs and expand, the recent announcement that Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital will bring 65 jobs to the city, purchasing the South Ironton Industrial Park and selling 8.6 acres of it to the Ohio Department of Transportation and providing a workable budget each year.

"Every year the revenues went down, but we made sure the city stayed in the black and that city services were not affected," he said. "We have learned to do more with less."

Even at a young age, Cleary said he had a strong interest in politics.

"All the way from high school days, I liked being involved in the leadership positions," he said. "I like to get out there where I feel like I can make a difference and help the community."

The life-long Ironton resident began his political career in 1989 by serving on the Ironton City Council. In 1993, he was reelected to council serving four years as the council chairman, which is also the position of vice mayor.

Because Cleary was vice mayor in 1997 when former Mayor Bill Sheridan retired, Cleary served out the final two years of Sheridan's term but this will not count toward the two elected terms allowed by city charter.

Cleary was elected in 1999 for a four year term. If reelected this fall, he will serve a full four-year term but will not be eligible to run again.

He and his wife Cheryl have four children -- son Bobby Cleary, and daughters Brennan Cleary, Bethany Lambert and Chelsea Cleary.

The non-partisan election will be in November. To run for mayor in the city of Ironton, candidates must have 300 signatures from residents who support their campaigns but can turn in 400.

Cleary filed the maximum of 400.

The deadline to file with the Board of Elections is August 21.

With his 14 years serving the city, Cleary said it is experience that will help him lead the city into a bright future.