We wanted to thank Councilor Bonner Gaylord for his 8 years of public service to the City of Raleigh. He was elected at age 32, and now steps back as he turns 40 - quite a rarity! He is also a parent who's sacrificed lots of time away from his family and kids in order to serve our City. The families of elected officials make great concessions in order to share their loved one with the world. So thank you to the Gaylord family for everything you've done for Raleigh! We hope you enjoy this next chapter together!
To all of my beloved Family, Friends, and Fellow Citizens,
As you are likely aware, I was not the top vote getter in the City Council election. However, no candidate received a majority and as the second place finisher I am entitled to call for a runoff election. The decision of whether to call for a runoff has been an agonizing one for me, my wife Ashley, and my family. It is a decision fraught with many tearful prayers.
When I started serving this city over a decade ago, before Gigi, Demetri, or Mont were born, I loved diving into the issues that confront us and using my heart and head to build bridges towards a common purpose. I am still passionate about that work. At the same time, I have never been a fan of vitriolic, polarizing, and partisan debates. I have watched this dynamic play out nationally, at the state level, and sometimes here in Raleigh. I have always viewed my role as a listener and a non-partisan consensus builder, serving as a bridge between the left and the right, the conservative and the progressive, newcomers to our city and those who have a long history here. I am afraid that calling for a runoff at this time wouldn't help build bridges. I fear that it would lead to more division at a time when we need to come together.
So I have called Stef Mendell, congratulated her on her victory, and wish her well on the Council. Working on behalf of our City has been one of the great joys and privileges of my life and I am hopeful she will find the same satisfaction serving you that I have.
I don't know what steps I may take in the future. I only know that I will continue to use my heart and my head to love this city and love it's people. I will continue to do my best by Raleigh with a focus on the least, the lost, and the last. I will continue to seek ways to champion what is most right for the most people as this city grows and transforms.
To anyone who is disappointed by this decision, I am deeply sorry, I am only doing what I believe is best for all. When faced with a difficult choice, I have learned that the right decision is usually the hardest one. That has been the case for me here.
Lastly, on a personal note, I turn 40 tomorrow. As I look forward on the next decade of my life, I hope you will join me in celebration for the time I get with my kids as they get to see a different side of their dad.
In sincere love and thanks,