Why Has No Sitting Mayor Ever Become President of the United States?

A few have tried, but none have succeeded.

Ask a Mayor
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Only one former mayor has ever been directly elected president of the United States: Grover Cleveland served as mayor of Buffalo before he became governor of New York, and eventually, president. (Vice President Calvin Coolidge, who at one point in his career was mayor of Northampton, Massachusetts, ascended to the presidency only after Warren Harding died in office.)

A few have tried (New York's Rudy Giuliani, L.A.'s Sam Yorty), but to this day no sitting mayor has ever been elected president, nor even won their party's nomination to seek the presidency.

Last month, we put this question to Cities readers: What would you ask, if you could ask a mayor anything? Then we gathered a small group of mayors from across the country and around the world for a series of conversations.

In Episode 5, we discuss what might be preventing mayors from reaching the highest political office in the country.

Don't miss Episodes One, Two, Three, and Four, and stay tuned for more Ask a Mayor videos in the coming weeks.

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