Grandview Heights City Council President Greta Kearns has announced her candidacy for Grandview Heights mayor, potentially leaving the last two years of her council term to be served by an appointee.
Kearns, 47, has served on council since 2014 and as council president since 2016.
Mayor Ray DeGraw is in the last year of his fourth term as mayor.
He defeated Mayor Colleen Sexton in 2003, won election to a second term unopposed in 2007 and defeated Councilman Steve Von Jasinski in 2011. DeGraw again ran unopposed in 2013.
DeGraw said he would not announce his decision on whether he will run until his State of the City address in March.
"I'm glad to see Greta enter the field," he said. "She's a hard worker and been a great councilperson. She's provided strong leadership as council president."
Kearns first was elected to council in 2013 and won a second term in 2017.
Should she win the mayor's race, she would vacate her council seat in January; the seat would be filled by a council appointee, who would serve the remaining two years of her term.
Grandview's city charter states council would appoint someone to fill a vacancy on council for the remainder of a term if it occurs during the final two years and six months of that term.
Otherwise, council would fill the vacancy on a temporary basis by appointment, effective until the first day in January following the next regular municipal election that occurs after the vacancy. The rest of the unexpired term then would be filled by the successful candidate who runs to fill the seat in that municipal election.
If a vacancy lasts more than 60 days, the mayor would make an appointment, according to the charter.
Kearns said she's running because she thinks her experience and abilities can help lead Grandview through a "time of great change" to make the city "an even better place to live."
"People have concerns about where change will lead Grandview," Kearns said. "I'm announcing my candidacy early to allow residents to get to know me and to hear their ideas for how we balance our city's proud heritage with smart growth that welcomes everyone."
Kearns is an attorney and previously served as an assistant Ohio attorney general. She has lived in Grandview since 2004. She and her husband, Jeff Shirazi, have three school-age children.
She said she has scaled back her law practice to devote more time to her elected duties.
"I've really fallen in love with working in municipal government," Kearns said. "What I enjoy the most is the collaborative effort between council, the administration and the community to achieve good things for the city."