LORAIN — Tony Dimacchia announced on social media last month that he’s running for Lorain mayor in the 2019 election.
Dimacchia, who is school board president, recently discussed his decision to run — touting that he was born and raised in Lorain, works in the city and has been a community leader. A school board member for a decade, he also was a high school coach for 22 years, taught in Lorain Schools for six years and now teaches at Lorain County Community College.
The social media announcement was made a bit earlier than he had planned. But now is as good a time as any to move forward on his campaign, he said.
“It’s not a decision that you make overnight. It’s not something that you make for the wrong reasons. It’s something that you make, and the timing for me personally and politically need to be the right time, and I just feel that the coming up 2019 election is a perfect opportunity for me to throw my hat in the ring,” he said.
Current Democratic Mayor Chase Ritenauer, who has been mayor since 2012, said he knew Dimacchia, also a Democrat, was planning to run for the position but wasn’t expecting the announcement so soon.
Dimacchia said it is his understanding Ritenauer plans to move on from Lorain, which was one of his motivators to announce his campaign. Another factor was his need to have as much time to plan and raise money for his campaign.
Ritenauer said he will make a decision on seeking re-election closer toward the end of his term. At this time, he said, he just wants to focus on his current term.
“For me it’s about focusing on the policy, we’ll see how the politics decide to shake out,” Ritenauer said. “A year of politics is an eternity and I would say even these days — with what we’re seeing out of Washington and Columbus — a month could be an eternity.”
Dimacchia said he fully supports the mayor and won’t be interested in running if Ritenauer decides to run again, but he stands by his decision to announce his campaign.
“This is an enormous role to take on, and it’s going to be an enormous challenge and you have to be prepared to do that and it takes time to prep yourself and find the right people and get the right supporters behind you,” he said.