Athens Mayor Steve Patterson announced Sunday night he would no longer be considering running for a congressional seat due to concerns surrounding the future district lines and ongoing projects in Athens. 

Patterson said previously he was considering a bid for Ohio’s 15th District seat after it is vacated by Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington, on May 16. Though no official announcement was made at the time, Patterson said a formal decision would come in the near future, according to a previous Post report

Before deciding against a campaign, Patterson said he spoke with past candidates who ran in both regular and special elections about their experiences. He also expressed concerns about the future of the district boundary.

“One of the bigger issues that came up last Tuesday (was) with the announcement that the state was going to lose a congressional seat,” Patterson said. “So, that certainly caused me to pause and think things through (about) what that would look like.” 

Patterson also said he considered all of the current opportunities in Athens and the projects that are already underway to help the community, citing the American Rescue Plan

“It was quite the honor to even have the opportunity to sit and think,” Patterson said. “I think that I would be a good candidate to run in a special election … It’s just not aligning right now at this point in time for me.” 

Patterson still intends to focus greatly on issues such as affordable housing, reliable broadband and racial equity

“They’re all still at the forefront of my mind, whether it’s here in Athens or nationally with my work with the National League of Cities,” Patterson said. 

Recently, Patterson said he met with Rep. Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, who is currently collecting signatures to run for the seat.

“I was highly impressed with her experiences, the work that she’s done on policy for the state … She’s very impressive,” Patterson said.

Though he plans to remain in his current position for now, Patterson said he is always open to other possibilities. 

“I certainly plan on running for mayor again in 2023,” Patterson said. “I always keep my mind open to all the different opportunities and needs out there.”

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