Asheville City Council member Bill Russell has withdrawn from the race. Russell, in a statement released on the Scrutiny Hooligans political blog, wrote that “there would be no greater regret for me than if I was not there fully for my kids with my time and energy as they move through these most important years of their lives.”
Russell, running for a second term, released the statement this morning. In it, he thanks his fellow Council members and the other candidates and the staff at the State Farm Insurance agency he runs, as well as promising to continue work on “several projects” in his remaining time on Council.
Russell’s withdrawal leaves Council member Jan Davis the only incumbent in the race among the eight remaining candidates.
The full statement is below:
Mayor & Council Members,
With some sadness, I would like to inform you of my decision to withdraw from this year’s election to retain my seat on City Council.
It has been a distinct honor, and truly one of the greatest experiences in my life, to serve our beautiful and diverse city over the past four years. My passion for that service, however, is simply not as great as my devotion to be the best father I can be for my three children, who will each turn 7, 5, and 3 over the next month. While I’m very sorry to disappoint anyone with this decision, there would be no greater regret for me than if I was not there fully for my kids with my time and energy as they move through these most important years of their lives.
I am very proud of what we have accomplished over the last four years, and I trust that Council will continue to take great care of our city for years to come. The deep relationships I have built with my fellow Council Members mean very much to me, and I will continue to serve Asheville on various boards and in other ways as time permits. I commend and appreciate all of you, and the other candidates and many volunteers who wish to serve.
I also owe a huge thank you to my State Farm Agency staff (Becky, Jason, and Leslie) who have worked tirelessly over the last four years to help manage and run my business during my term as a Councilman. It’s now time for me to get back to work not only for my family, but for my team and for my clients.
My work on Council is not done. There is still a lot to do over the next three months, and I look forward to wrapping up several projects between now and the end of the year.
I wish the very best to each and every one of you, along with every candidate seeking a seat on Council. I am honored to be able to call each and every one of you my friend.