City Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin wont run for mayor this fall, saying family obligations have left her unable to commit the requisite time and energy to a grueling campaign.
Baldwins father died last year, and her 88-year-old mother moved in with her in July. Baldwin said she would decide in June whether to seek re-election to her City Council seat.
When I look at the role of being caretaker to my mom, and think about running my own business, being mayor at this time would just be an impossible duty to fulfill the way I would want to, she said. While the opportunity is there, the timing isnt.
Right now, I just have to put my family first.
Many political watchers viewed Baldwin as a front-runner. Supporters sent emails asking when she planned to declare her candidacy.
With no incumbent on the ballot for the first time in a decade, Baldwin says she expects a hotly contested race.
The past 10 years, the elections have been kind of mellow, she said. Weve only had 11 percent turnout, but that's because we didn't have a serious candidate running against the mayor. He pretty much has set the tone.
This time around, youll see a more spirited campaign, she said.
Meeker said Tuesday he wont get involved in the mayoral race early on but might make an endorsement after the field becomes clear.