Moving Alabama Forward…
Over the past few months, rumors have flown about my potential candidacy for Governor of Alabama. The support and encouragement that Eula and I have received as we’ve looked at this possibility has been overwhelming.
This has not been an easy decision to make. As Mayor, I have the incredible opportunity to work in partnership with leaders and citizens throughout this City to make a difference. The results are tangible and rewarding. In addition, my administrative team, department heads and City employees have done everything I have asked of them and more. Through their sacrifices and support, we have reduced costs in the past five years without impacting services. In validation of our hard work, the City earned its fifth Triple A credit rating in a row. To be Mayor of Huntsville is a dream job, and I do not believe there are greener pastures elsewhere.
It is true that I have been approached by several organizations about running. The conversations began after my re-election in the fall of 2012, and my honest answer was that I already have a full-time job that I love – advocating for and caring for the City of Huntsville.
Like many of you, I am frustrated by what I am seeing in Montgomery and Washington, D.C., but the bigger question is whether or not I could actually make an impact or affect change.
While exploring this possibility, I’ve talked to community leaders and elected officials across our state. Just this week I had the opportunity to meet and speak with the mayors from Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Mobile and Montgomery about the challenges their communities are facing and how we can work together to begin moving Alabama forward.
While each community has its own unique character and challenges, we found far more common ground than differences. That common ground is where we will begin our journey.
After careful consideration, I have decided that I will not be a candidate for governor in 2014. I believe that the best way for us to begin the work of moving Alabama forward is to find ways to work together with officials and leaders across our state. Cities are at the forefront of the challenges that come with an economic crisis, and in the coming months, we’ll not only tell Huntsville’s story across our state, but learn from other communities as well.
We still have work to do in Huntsville; our vision for what we can be, for the things we can do, isn’t finished. The challenges and opportunities we have here and across our state are real and you have my commitment that we will face them head-on.
Eula and I value all of the friends we’ve made and the wonderful people we’ve met across this great state during this process. I want to thank all of you for your encouragement and support and ask you to join us as we continue our work moving Huntsville and Alabama forward.