Ridenhour Decides Against Mayoral Run
After a few months of speculation, District 5 County Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour has formally announced that he will not run for Charlotte Mayor this fall. He posted the following:
I am overdue in the announcement of my decision regarding the Charlotte Mayoral race. I have decided against running for the office of Mayor of Charlotte. This was a decision that I did not take lightly, and I wanted to be deliberate in my prayer and discussions with family, friends, and supporters.
I believe the time is ripe for Republican leadership in that office. In so many ways, Charlotte is on a path towards continued prosperity and growth. It seems almost daily there are new jobs announcements, more residents pouring into the city, and new growth and development. We are no longer striving to be a “world class city”–we are one. With a strong, respected international reputation, we will continue to be a destination for tourists, jobs, trade, and relocation. There is room for improvement, however. Charlotte ranks at the bottom of the list of large cities in terms of economic opportunity. In other words, it is harder in Charlotte to move up from one income bracket to another than it is in any other major city in the US. This doesn’t just affect the poor, it affects middle class workers, too. We Charlotteans also tend to chase the new, shiny thing, instead of addressing the basics. We build streetcars instead of filling potholes and widening roads. We put band-aids on our infrastructure. We take a wrecking ball to our past to make way for our future. The neighborhoods of SouthEnd, Elizabeth, and Plaza-Midwood are charming places to live, but much of what makes them attractive has been (or soon will be) torn down to make way for new development. Right now we are booming, and that is a good thing! I am concerned that without a strong leader with a vision, who can then cast that vision to others, we will be driving this racecar with a foot on the accelerator, but no hands on the wheel. I believe that strong Republican leadership can provide the guidance and vision necessary to lead the Council, and provide balance in our community. I believe our government works best with balance.
Though I believe the timing is excellent for the right Republican candidate to win that seat, I do not believe the timing is right for me to be that candidate. My love of Charlotte cannot be questioned, but I have a six month old little girl at home that I love more. As much as I would love to step up to serve, my focus right now will be on Abby and Caroline. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the residents of Mecklenburg County District 5, and I will continue to serve them to the best of my ability. Running for Mayor would be a full-time job, taking time away from my family and my service to District 5.
Thank you so much for the many messages of support I have received in recent months. Even this week I received notes encouraging me to run for Mayor. I am a very fortunate man to have so many friends, and I am very thankful for each of you. May God continue to richly pour His blessings upon Charlotte!
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