On July 17, Asheville City Council member Keith Young posted a statement on his Facebook page announcing his decision not to run for mayor in 2017. Young was elected in November 2015; his Council term runs through 2019.
I greatly appreciate everyone who reached out and gave encouragement that I run for Mayor of the City of Asheville. After speaking with many individuals that pledged support, and having heard them share what direction they would like this community to move toward I have made a decision. It has become abundantly clear that the best way to achieve the alignment of our local government with the people, is to focus on filling the upcoming vacant council seat with an individual that embodies a voters views.
I will at the appropriate time endorse a candidate or candidates that I feel closely align with the least among us, and bringing the people closer to power. Therefore, I feel it best that we continue to build on the 2015 elections. Starting with Re-electing Cecil Bothwell. Followed by supporting candidates that will fill the open council seat with a pragmatic view on equity, our budgeting process, and continued efforts for fostering transparent government. All the while making Asheville a livable and affordable city for all income levels.
Being the Mayor is an important, tireless and thankless job, and I respect Esther’s efforts and success in holding the reigns. Esther has served with grace and poise in the face of our difficult moments with the NCGA and I have learned a great deal from her mentorship. However, what still remains is this, you still need 3 other votes to push any policy. No matter the title, votes push policy. I may revisit this decision in the future. However, today I will continue to serve for the least among us. I humbly thank each and every person who reached out. I want you all to know I did take the time to seriously deliberate and come to a conclusion that I feel is the best route forward to address peoples concerns. Thanks for your consideration and we’ll continue to fight for a better city together with all hands on deck from every walk of life!