A local elected official is not running for re-election in the coming 2015 Spring election. I have verified this with three different sources. I have contacted the incumbent on two different occasions and not received a reply. I have reached out to three sources who write about this area of government and confirmed that they heard the incumbent is not running…but through the grapevine…not official channels…they have not seen a press release announcing that the seat will go unchallenged. So insiders may know but not the general public.
We are now two full weeks into the limited time allowed to secure nomination paper signatures to get on the ballot. That period ends January 6th, 2015 I believe. I am only aware of one candidate who is circulating papers for the position…a friend and associate of the incumbent. That has been confirmed from a number of sources as well.
So is the lack of an announcement a ploy to protect a friend who is taking up a campaign? Is lack of an announcement keeping other candidates from entering the fray because they don’t want to take on an incumbent? Open seats historically draw a lot of interest…take the recent open seat in the 19th Assembly District when Rep. Jon Richards ran for Wisconsin Attorney General!
Such an action apparently isn’t illegal…but I did reach out to the Government Accountability Board for their take on the subject…but haven’t had a reply either.
But even if legal, I don’t feel it’s ethical. A level playing field demands that everyone knows when an incumbent decides not to seek re-election.