Mayor James Davis made a big decision yesterday for the future of Antioch by choosing not to run for re-election as mayor, but rather instead pulled papers to run for city council. I caught up with the mayor to discuss his decision.
The Mayor was pretty candid in stating he was proud of the work he had accomplished, but does not need a title to be effective. Rather, he wants to continue representing Antioch and working towards improving the city and ensuring bankruptcy does not ever become an option.
“It’s just a title to me; I just want to get things accomplished. I can still be on the council and get the job done is the way I look at it. After my four years, I want to give someone else a turn,” stated Davis. “My vote still counts as much as the mayors will.”
Davis has been on the council for 14 years and there is still much work to be done. He feels he will have more freedom on the council as opposed to e the face of the city.
“As mayor, you drive policy and run the meetings. You have to remain somewhat neutral. You are the leader of the room and must be diplomatic while representing the best interest of the city and set personal opinions aside. As a councilmember, you can be more abrasive and outgoing,” explained Davis.
One of his goals is to restore the police department which has had a reduction in officers. He wants to use the next four years to bring back appropriate staffing levels and hopefully bring back additional officers.
“I was born and raised in Antioch; I have been here all my life with my friends and family here. I care a big deal about our city and the safety of the citizens. I want to stay involved and restore the city back to normal levels while keeping us out of bankruptcy,” said Davis. “I have a strong passion for what I do and I want to continue doing it until someone better comes along.”
I did ask him about the kind of support he expects going forward now that he is running for council as opposed to re-election and stated as word got out about the decision, the support he has been shown warms his heart.
“The last four years have been difficult. As mayor, you are often blamed for everything and applauded for nothing and with the council it’s the reverse. While the last four years have been difficult, I wouldn’t want it any other way,” said Davis.
The mayor also admitted had his Melanoma Cancer outcome been different; he probably wouldn’t have run to focus on his health. But he is cancer free and given a full bill of health.
“I feel great and have a lot of years left in me to serve,” said Davis.
Davis said he hopes to have his website up in a few weeks as he is looking forward to campaign season.
Crowded Council Race
With Davis deciding to run for council, the race has just become crowded as Monica Wilson also pulled yesterday while Mary RochaI’ve been told will run, but has yet to pull papers. The three will be joined by Noel Pinto and Walter Ruehlig making it a total of five candidates at minimum for essentially one seat as I do not believe Mary Rocha will lose. This could get more diluted as others could file by the August 10 deadline. Councilman Brian Kalinowski said last year he will not run for re-election and it appears he is not ready to change his mind yet.
4th Candidate Pulls Paper for Mayors Race
I’ve been informed by the City of Antioch that Michael Anthony Leon has pulled papers to potentially run for Mayor. If all file paperwork and are approved candidates, Leon will be joined by Gary Agopian, Wade Harper, and Donald P. Freitas all vying for the coveted mayors seat.
Clerk Race Heating up
A few days ago I wrote about former Antioch Councilman Arne Simonsen deciding to run for the clerk position. He now has competition as Rosa Argentina Davila-Leuvano has also pulled papers for the seat.