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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Chris Ronayne’s name has provoked all sorts of political speculation since he left City Hall four years ago along with his boss, ousted Mayor Jane Campbell.

He became president of University Circle Inc., the development arm of the city’s cultural and medical hub — and a good place to hang out for a while if you covet a future in local politics. But 2009 came, and Ronayne took a pass on the mayoral race many pegged him to join.

Then came Cuyahoga County reform.

The notion of an elected county executive — a figure who will eclipse Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson in political power — is no doubt appealing. But others are whispering that Ronayne might instead choose to cut his teeth on the new, 11-member county council. To someone whose name has never been on a local ballot, council could offer a good springboard.

Friends and political insiders say Ronayne is close to making a decision. In a brief phone conversation Tuesday night, all Ronayne would say is that he is still considering his options. But he confirmed that he is looking at both the county executive and county council races.

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