After much thought, I have decided to officially withdraw as a city council candidate for the upcoming general election. I’m truly honored to have made it past the primary and grateful to everyone that voted for me. However, multiple factors (personal, professional and political) have played a role in making this difficult but important decision.
I made the decision to run for city council because I want to make Carbondale a better place to live and I feel this election is an incredible opportunity to shape the direction and future of Carbondale. I will continue to work for positive change and in many ways have come to realized I can better serve the community and change it by not running for city council at this time. The primary factors and considerations for making this decision are as follows:
• When I first made the decision to run for city council I did it because I wanted to make sure certain issues and perspectives were part of the race. I’m impressed that so many people came forward to be candidates. There are many good candidates in the race and after the primary I realized that I’d be running “against” several people that I would very much like to support. I think with so many people in the race, I can be more effective by focusing on informing and engaging voters.
• Professionally speaking my work with The Fuller Dome is at a very exciting (and demanding) time. As recent recipients of a matching $125,000 Save America’s Treasures Grant our efforts have really gained momentum and energy. When I think about serving Carbondale I can’t think of a better project. The Fuller Dome is truly unique and has an important role to play in the growth of Carbondale. Having the dome restored and functioning means that we can truly thrive as an educational non-profit. It’s a wonderful opportunity and we will officially launch the restoration campaign this April. With the election also in April I don’t want my candidacy to politicize our efforts.
• Running for city council has really broadened my perspective and knowledge of the city and the problems we face. I believe shifting the direction of our city is about increasing awareness and civic engagement. The recent low voter turnout in the primary was a wake-up call to me. Our largest potential voting blocks remain unengaged. We need them to be invested here. As a candidate with a weekly radio show, I’ve had to limit my discussion of the election on-air. Withdrawing from the race allows me more freedom to directly engage and call on voters and speak about issues and candidates positions.
I am officially supporting Jessica Bradshaw as a city council candidate because I think she would be great addition to the council. We could benefit from having a younger voice and the perspective of an early career-professional within our leadership. She grew up in Carbondale (owned a business here) and now works at the university. She really impressed me beyond measure during the campaign (chances are she knocked on your door!) and I think she has an inspiring vision for Carbondale’s future, but also a tenacious work ethic, and that is exactly what is needed right now. I’m looking forward to supporting her more directly in her campaign efforts.
Once again I would like to express my gratitude for all who supported me. My candidacy ends but the work continues. Thank you.
Janet Elizabeth Donoghue