AUBURN — Saying he was making room for other candidates to step forward, Mayor John Jenkins e-mailed a letter to Auburn city staff Wednesday announcing that he would not seek re-election this fall.
"I realize this position is not something one person should repeatedly occupy," Jenkins said Wednesday night at his home. "It's not a contest to see how many times you can win. I've held it and now it's time for me to make room for some other individuals to step forward."
It's the second time Jenkins has decided not to seek election for Auburn mayor. He declined to run in 2007, only to be drafted by a write-in campaign. Voters placed him back in office, giving him 54 percent of the vote. No write-in candidate for mayor or City Council had ever won a seat.
Jenkins had already completed two terms as Lewiston's mayor and a
as a state senator when he took office in December 2006 for a shortened
one-year term as Auburn mayor. During that time, he worked to make city government more public, scheduling a series of neighborhood ward
meetings around the city. The meetings each began with an open session for residents to speak directly to their city councilor and the mayor.
There won't be a write-in campaign this time, Jenkins said.
"I don't actually think it will come to that," he said. "I think we'll have good people stepping forward to serve. I think it's time for those people to have a chance."
Jenkins said he'll be happy to advise his successors, if they need it.
"I think that's going to be the extent of my role going forward," he said. "I think it is very important for everyone to have the chance to step forward and fill that role, to serve if they can."