Frank G. Jackson

Frank George Jackson (born October 4, 1946) is an American attorney and politician who is currently the 57th Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio. He was first elected on November 8, 2005, unseating incumbent Jane Campbell, and re-elected in 2009, 2013, and 2017. Now serving in his fourth term, he is the longest-serving mayor in Cleveland history.[1]

Frank Jackson
56th Mayor of Cleveland
Assumed office
January 2, 2006
Preceded byJane L. Campbell
Personal details
Frank George Jackson

(1946-10-04) October 4, 1946
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S,
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Edwina Jackson
EducationCuyahoga Community College
Cleveland State University (BA, MUP, JD)

Early life and education

Jackson is the son of an African-American father and an Italian-American mother.[2] Jackson grew up in the Kinsman and Central neighborhoods. After graduating from Max S. Hayes High School, Jackson served in the United States Army.

After his discharge, Jackson attended Cuyahoga Community College where he earned an associate degree.[3] He later attended Cleveland State University (CSU), earning a bachelor's degree in Urban Studies and History, a master's degree in Urban Affairs from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, and a law degree.

Early career

Jackson entered politics with the influence of former Cleveland Councilman Lonnie L. Burten. He passed the Ohio bar exam and started his legal career as an assistant city prosecutor. In 1989, Jackson won a seat on the Cleveland City Council for Ward 5. As Councilman, Jackson spearheaded efforts to bring in approximately a half billion dollars of community investments, working to clean up and stabilize his ward. He fought for the redevelopment of Arbor Park Place, the construction of the only Home Ownership Zone in the city, and worked with the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) as it began to rebuild its estates.

Jackson became an active critic of then-Mayor Michael R. White, who had vowed in his campaign to clean up neighborhoods but had instead dedicated the bulk of his tenure to downtown development. Jackson's progress in Ward 5 aided his election to Council President in 2001, succeeding Michael D. Polensek.[4]

2005 Cleveland mayoral election

As Council President, Jackson became increasingly frustrated with the leadership of Mayor Jane L. Campbell. As the 2005 mayoral election approached, Jackson announced his candidacy on April 7.

He received endorsements from several notable Cleveland and Cuyahoga County politicians, including Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, County Auditor Frank Russo, County Treasurer Jim Rokakis, and most of his colleagues on City Council. In the October 4 mayoral primary, Jackson was the top vote-getter, ahead of the incumbent Campbell. Other candidates in the primary included former Cleveland Public Safety Director, James A. Draper; former mayor of Euclid, Ohio and businessman, David Lynch; former Cleveland Councilman Bill Patmon, and Municipal Court Judge Robert Triozzi, whom Jackson eventually asked to become his law director. In the November 8, 2005 general election, he was elected mayor with 55% of the vote, while Campbell received 45%. At 11:25 p.m. (EST), she conceded to Jackson.

On January 2, 2006, Jackson was sworn in as Cleveland's 56th mayor at East Technical High School on the city's East Side. Among those in attendance were Congresswoman Tubbs Jones and Bishop Anthony Pilla of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. In his inaugural address, Jackson vowed to make Cleveland a city where we are "one people, one community, living and working together, with respect, justice and equality." He promised improvements in the city's school system and better relations with Cleveland's neighboring suburbs.

2009 Cleveland mayoral election

Frank Jackson in April 2009 announced his bid to run for another term. In the September 2009 primary Jackson garnered the most votes; in second place was former Cleveland City Council member Bill Patmon. On Election Day 2009, Jackson defeated Patmon by a large margin, with Jackson receiving 78% of the vote and Patmon receiving 22%.[5]

2013 Cleveland mayoral election

Jackson announced his intention to run for a third term on June 29, 2013. Since Jackson's bid for a third term drew only one challenger, there were no primary elections in the mayoral race. The sole challenger to Jackson was Cleveland businessman Kenneth Lanci. On Election Day 2013, Jackson defeated Lanci, with Jackson receiving 66% of the vote and Lanci receiving 34%. Upon completing his term, Jackson will become just the second Cleveland mayor, along with Michael R. White to serve three terms.[6]

2017 Cleveland mayoral election

On November 7, 2017, Jackson won his fourth term, beating councilman Zack Reed, who had finished second behind Jackson in the September nine-way primary election. This made Jackson the first ever four-term mayor in the city's history.[1]

As mayor

On December 1, 2005, he announced that he would appoint the city's first point person for regional issues. On December 15, Jackson announced the appointment of his former opponent Triozzi as law director (under the city charter, the law director becomes mayor if the elected mayor is out of the city, resigns or becomes incapable of serving).

From the former Campbell administration, Darnell Brown retained his position as the city's chief operating officer. Valarie J. McCall, who had previously served as Clerk of City Council, was appointed chief of government affairs. Shortly after his inauguration, Jackson began working with the Cleveland Police Department. He introduced a new use of force policy that clearly states what previous versions only implied: "Excessive force shall not be tolerated." Jackson has restored the Cleveland Police Aviation Unit (helicopters) and the Cleveland Police Mounted Unit (horses).[4]

He is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition,[7] a bi-partisan group with a stated goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets." The Coalition was co-chaired by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

A known gangmember was photographed with a firearm containing an illegal high capacity magazine on the mayor's residential grounds. When asked,Mayor Jackson stated that his mindset and what family does are not city business and would not be discussed. 


On January 18, 2008, the Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill to eliminate residency rules passed by local voters. This included the amendment to the Cleveland municipal charter that restricted city workers from living outside the city, approved by voters in 1982.[4]

In response, Mayor Jackson and law director Robert Triozzi threatened to take the issue to court. Jackson contended that if the city's residency restrictions are overturned, Cleveland would suffer the ill effects of city workers fleeing the city, and its related effects on the economy and city safety. "This is about the issue of home rule", Jackson said at a City Hall news conference. "They are attempting to usurp our constitutional rights, and we are defending our rights".

He threatened to fire any city worker who moved out of their district of employment. The Cleveland Fire Fighters Association Local 93 and four individual union members filed a complaint on January 30 with the 8th Ohio District Court of Appeals to block any actions that Jackson, Triozzi, or the city might take on the matter. On June 10, 2009, the Supreme Court of Ohio struck down the residency requirements of Cleveland and several dozen other Ohio communities in the case of Lima v. State of Ohio.

See also


  1. Jackson wins historic 4th term - Cleveland (WOIO/WUAB)
  2. "Profiles In Cleveland Politics: Frank G. Jackson". Cleveland Leader. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  3. "Profile at Cleveland's official website". Archived from the original on December 20, 2008. Retrieved 2006-01-07.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. Jackson administration - Case Western Reserve University
  5. Niedermier, Kevin (November 3, 2009). "Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson re-elected by a large margin". WKSU. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  6. O'Malley, Michael (June 27, 2013). "Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson draws only one challenger in mayoral race". Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  7. "Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Coalition Members". Archived from the original on 2008-03-27.


  • Perkins, Olivera. The Plain Dealer, October 23, 2005. "Though Private About Family, Jackson Says He Lives City's Ills".
  • Perkins, Olivera; Naymik, Mark. "Jackson's Lifelong Code Drives Run For City Hall", The Plain Dealer, October 25, 2005.
  • Perkins, Olivera. "Jackson Wins", The Plain Dealer, November 9, 2005.
  • Baird, Gabriel. "Jackson Tightens Police Use-Of-Force Policy", The Plain Dealer, January 6, 2006
  • Guillen, Joe. "Jackson Takes Part In Prostitution Sting", The Plain Dealer, January 13, 2006.
  • Fields, Reginald. "City Residency Rules In Peril", The Plain Dealer, January 19, 2006.
  • Atassi, Leila. "Cleveland's controversial plan to build 'trash-to-energy' facility declared dead",, May 9, 2014.
Political offices
Preceded by
Michael D. Polensek
President of Cleveland City Council
Succeeded by
Martin J. Sweeney
Preceded by
Jane L. Campbell
Mayor of Cleveland
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