Chris Ronayne

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Chris Ronayne
3rd Executive of Cuyahoga County
Assumed office
January 1, 2023
Preceded byArmond Budish
Personal details
Born (1968-09-02) September 2, 1968 (age 55)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceCleveland, Ohio
Alma materMiami University, Cleveland State University

Chris Ronayne is an American politician who currently serves as the 3rd Cuyahoga County Executive. He was elected to the office in 2022, defeating Lee Weingart with 63.9% of the vote. [1] Ronayne took office on January 1, 2023.[2]

Early life

Chris Ronayne was born in Chicago, Illinois[3] on September 2, 1968 to Kathleen and James Ronayne. He attended Bay High School, west of Cleveland, where he was captain of the school’s hockey team.[4] Following high school, Ronayne went to Miami University and later received a Master of Urban Planning and Development from Cleveland State University.[5]


Ronayne began his career on the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission prior to serving as campaign manager for then-Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jane Campbell’s successful run for Cleveland Mayor in 2001.[6] He then served in Campbell’s administration as the City of Cleveland Planning Director. Ronayne also worked as the city’s Chief of Staff and Chief Development Officer.[7] In 2005, Ronayne was named president of University Circle Inc, a non-profit that oversees the University Circle neighborhood on Cleveland’s East Side. On October 1, 2021, Ronayne stepped down as UCI President to run for Cuyahoga County Executive.[8]

County Executive

The 2022 Cuyahoga County executive election was for an open seat, as incumbent Armond Budish chose not to run for a third term.[9] After defeating Tariq Shabbaz in the Democratic primary, Ronayne faced the Republican nominee, former county commissioner Lee Weingart.[10] Cuyahoga County, a Democratic stronghold, gave 247,301 votes, nearly 110,000 more than Weingart received.[11] Ronayne was sworn in on January 1 of the following year, but had a ceremonial inauguration in Downtown Cleveland on January 21.[12]

Ronayne began his tenure focusing on issues relating to the homeless and public transportation. He also discussed building a strong county economy directly following his inauguration, calling for economic development efforts alongside Lake Erie, which makes up the northern border of Cuyahoga County.[13] Additionally, Ronayne prioritized crime prevention, effective governance, and health services during his campaign.[14]

Two days after his election, Ronayne named former Sandusky city manager Eric Wobser as his chief of staff.[15] He also appointed Cleveland Deputy Police Chief Harold Preter as Cuyahoga County Sheriff.[16]

Personal life

He is married to Natalie Ronayne, who is the Chief Development Officer for the Cleveland Metroparks. They have two kids.[17]


  1. "Election Results". Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.
  2. Reports, Staff. "Chris Ronayne sworn in as Cuyahoga's County Executive". The Plain Dealer.
  3. Miller, Jay. "Chris Ronayne, 35". Crain's Cleveland.
  4. Stewart, Dillon. "Chris Ronayne: Most Interesting People 2023". Cleveland Magazine.
  5. "CHRISTOPHER RONAYNE ('96 MUPDD)". Cleveland State University.
  6. "Meet Chris". Chris Ronayne.
  7. "Chris Ronayne". Cleveland State University.
  8. Raspe, Becky. "Ronayne stepping down as University Circle Inc. president to run for county executive". Cleveland Jewish News. Cleveland Jewish Publishing Company.
  9. Carey, Tyler. "Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish will not seek re-election in 2022". WKYC.
  10. Staff. "Chris Ronayne beats Tariq K. Shabazz in Cuyahoga County executive Democratic primary". The Plain Dealer.
  11. "Election Results". Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.
  12. Reports, Staff. "Chris Ronayne sworn in as Cuyahoga's County Executive". The Plain Dealer.
  13. Richmonds, Matthew. "New Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne starts tenure with legislation on housing for homeless". Ideastream. Ideastream Public Media.
  14. "Issues". Chris Ronayne.
  15. Durbin, Kaitlin. "Cuyahoga Executive-Elect Chris Ronayne names future chief of staff Eric Wobser among transition team". The Plain Dealer.
  16. Oprea, Mark. "Chris Ronayne to Appoint Harold Pretel as Cuyahoga County Sheriff". Cleveland Scene.
  17. "Meet Chris". Chris Ronayne.

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