Former Commissioner Ed Ridpath said Monday he would consider rejoining the board if he is elected, even though he unexpectedly resigned from the board last month in the middle of his re-election campaign.
In a statement posted on his website and Facebook page, Ridpath said he won’t campaign for his old seat. But he said if he gets enough votes Nov. 3 to win one of three available seats, he will accept the voters’ decision.
Ridpath, who was finishing his first term on the board, submitted his resignation to the board Aug. 22, citing private family matters. He didn’t release any further comments, and board members seemed surprised by his action.
Reached by phone Wednesday, Ridpath again declined to say why he resigned. But he said he expects the matter to be resolved by January, when the new board will be sworn in.
The deadline for removing candidate names has passed. His name will appear on the ballot alongside the five other candidates – incumbents Charlie Adcock and William “Bill” Harris, Marilyn Gardner, Bryan Hanes and Henry J. Kuhn.
Challenger Beth Cassels-Anderson withdrew from the race Tuesday, Sept. 15.
Fuquay-Varina Mayor John Byrne is running unopposed.
Ridpath said he discussed the election with his wife, Jeanne Ridpath.
“The personal reasons for me stepping down still exist, and also prevent me from actively campaigning over the next eight weeks,” he wrote. “I have been and will be focused on myself and my family over the next few months.”
But, he said, he had been asked if he would be willing to serve again if he’s elected.
“After much reflection and discussion with Jeanne, I will honor the will of the voters, and serve if elected,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Cassels-Anderson emailed supporters Tuesday afternoon to inform them of her decision to leave the race. She said the decision was twofold. Since announcing her campaign, she received a promotion at work that will require more time, and she injured her leg, requiring surgery and rehabilitation.
“To say that I’m disappointed by all of this would be an understatement,” Cassels-Anderson wrote.
Cassels-Anderson said in an interview Wednesday that she will continue to serve on the town’s transportation committee but couldn’t commit to the responsibilities of a higher office at this time.
“(The injury), coupled with the new job, and my family, it’s just the perfect storm,” she said. “And it’s just not fair (to ask people for their votes). As much as I would love to, it’s just not.”
She said she’s endorsing Gardner and Haynes in the race.
“They both have a fresh perspective,” she said. “Neither one of them have served in politics. They’re both born and raised here, they understand the concerns and the growth.”
Cassels-Anderson said she intends to run again in 2017. She also ran for mayor in 2013, losing in a challege to Byrne.
Candidates will take part in the first of two candidate forums hosted by the Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Sept. 24, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the multi-purpose room of Windsor Point Retirement Community, 1221 Broad St., Fuquay-Varina. Another forum is Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m. at the Stars Theater.
Doran: 919-460-2604; Twitter: @will_doran