By John Celock
A 32-year-old Cincinnati city councilman has launched his bid for a fourth two-year term amid speculation that he could launch another statewide run.
Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld (D) announced via Facebook Live Wednesday that he would run for reelection to the City Council this year, citing a desire to continue work on education and entrepreneurship issues, along with a desire to position the city as a defense against President-elect Donald Trump. Sittenfeld, who is seeking the last term he is eligible for under the city’s term limits law, unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate last year.
“Our city has undergone a huge amount of change,” he said. “Going back six years, going back 12 years it has been a time of evolution.”
Sittenfeld spent much of the 20 minute Facebook Live video reflecting on his tenure as a city councilman and his vision for entrepreneurship in the city. While taking questions, submitted in the comments section, he said that he believed that cities were important because they could work against policies coming from Trump.
“These are places where we are able to fortify the gates and push back and not let the worst of the policy from Donald Trump be jammed down on our throats,” Sittenfeld said. “Cities are beautiful, wonderful ecosystems in the first place, and even more so in the age of Donald Trump.”
In the video, Sittenfeld said that Trump’s statements and actions “scare me and alarms me.”
Sittenfeld touched on several of the issues that he has worked on in city government, including a closer working relationship between the city and the school system, a program to combat campus sexual assault, new funding for small business excelerators, expanded school based health centers, increased technology in city government and a new initiative to increase services to the senior citizen population. He noted that his work on campus sexual assault recently had him attend a White House conference on the subject with Vice President Joe Biden.
Sittenfeld also noted his near constant state of motion around Cincinnati, much of which he documents on social media. He said that he had promised that he would be traveling the city in his role and listening to residents and believes he has lived up to the role.
“I really believe that you did not send me to City Hall and give me a position in the political realm because of what I said I would do but because of how I would do it,” he said.
Sittenfeld has been positioning himself as a rising star in Ohio Democratic circles. In 2015 he launched his Senate campaign and stayed in the race as state Democratic Party leaders backed former Gov. Ted Strickland in the primary. Strickland defeated Sittenfeld in the primary and then lost to U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R) in the general election.
Sittenfeld has been mentioned as a potential 2018 Democratic candidate for either state treasurer or state auditor, but has not commented on if he will make another statewide race next year. With the exception of his comments on Trump and attending the White House conference – which he tied to his city duties – Sittenfeld kept his reelection announcement centered on city government.
The youngest member of the city council, Sittenfeld touched on his age and experience at the beginning of the announcement.
“It is a little bit crazy to be to be in my sixth year I am in as an elected official,” he said. “The reason it is crazy it reminds me how young a pup I was.”