Mr. McNamara, who was unanimously elected to be council president at the start of this current council term, said today he would step down as president because of the campaign.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as council president,” Mr. McNamara said. “But being in public office is not about advancing one’s self interests. It’s about serving the people and always picking the difficult right over the easy wrong. I will not allow the mayor’s race to cloud council’s ability to work with the administration.”
In a statement, Mr. McNamara stressed that council passed two budgets unanimously and early under his presidency. It also consolidated committees, rewrote council rules, “and took steps to make city council more transparent,” he wrote.
Mr. McNamara, a Democrat, will resign as president, but retain his seat as an at-large member councilman, during the regular meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Mr. McNamara had been president previously but did not seek the presidency in 2010 while he was challenging Edna Brown in a primary race for Ohio's 11th Senate District.
Councilman Mike Craig, also a Democrat, lauded Mr. McNamara.
“McNamara is a man of strong character, integrity and honesty and has done a great job leading our council through very difficult times,” Mr. Craig said.
Mayor Mike Bell announced last month he would seek reelection. Also running for mayor are Alan Cox, a city neighborhood development specialist and president of one of the city unions, and Opal Covey, a church minister. All three are political independents.