DETROIT (WWJ) – He’s been in city government for over 15 years, but long-time Detroit City Council member Ken Cockrel, Jr. will not seek re-election.
Cockrel said his heart remains with Detroit but he thinks he can help in other ways. Cockrel briefly served as mayor following the resignation of Kwame Kilpatrick in September 2008.
His current term ends December 31.
Cockrel tells WWJ that he has had reservations about running again for some time, and the current status of the city did not come into play.
“The obvious question that comes up is, ‘Oh, OK — are you stepping down because of what’s going on with the emergency manager?'” said Cockrel. “And I have to say, again, it’s really not a huge factor, because I had pretty much made up my mind that this was the direction I was going in well before there was any serious thought about an emergency manager being in place.”
Cockrel told WWJ he doesn’t plan to run for mayor in 2013 — although he won’t rule out a future role in politics.
Cockrel, on Tuesday, released the following statement:
“It has been my honor to serve the City of Detroit for the over 15 years as a member of the Detroit City Council. This service has included a term as Council President and a seven-month stint as Mayor following the resignation of Kwame Kilpatrick in September 2008.
As the filing deadline for the 2003 municipal elections approaches, I have thought long and hard about whether or not to seek a fifth four-year term. I have decided that this current term which ends December 31st will be my last. I will not run for re-election this year.
Because of my deep and abiding love for this city I did not make this decision lightly. However, I’ve concluded that now is the time for me to leave my current position.
Though I’ve been able to accomplish much during my four terms, I’ve also come to realize that in a strong mayor form of government, which our city charter prescribes, there are limits to how much a council member can accomplish. These limits are frustrating to me. I feel that I must seek new challenges, new opportunities, and new ways to help this city I love so dearly.
Make no mistake, my heart remains with Detroit. I remain committed to helping our city overcome its current obstacles and realize its vast potential. But I also believe that I can best aid in that important work in a different way.”
Meantime, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has still not stated whether he intends to run for re-election.