Dana Williams: campaign decision made, but it’s a secret
THE PARK RECORD
Mayor Dana Williams said this week has decided whether he will seek re-election this year.
But he also said he does not intend to make his decision public for now. And it is not clear when he might announce whether he will compete for a fourth term during this year’s City Hall elections.
Williams, who is 57 years old and lives in Prospector, is in his twelfth year as the mayor of Park City, having won elections in 2001, 2005 and 2009. If he ran for re-election this year and won, he would be sworn into office for a fourth time in January and serve a term that ends in early 2018.
The election season will not start in earnest until the summer, during a June window when candidates must file campaign paperwork at City Hall. Some of the first political rumblings of the year, though, came early in the week as it was publicized that supporters of first-term Park City Councilman Andy Beerman are urging him to seek the mayor’s office this year
Williams said he does not want to make his decision public until after a new city manager is hired. That seems to point to a hiring from within the pool of City Hall staffers who are competing for the job. If a second national recruitment for the position was undertaken, the process would likely stretch toward the June window for candidates to file the paperwork.
"I will talk about my decision after we’ve hired a city manager," Williams said.
He did not outline a timeline for the hiring or the subsequent announcement of his political plans.
The decision by Williams will be one of the highlights of the political season. If he seeks re-election, he would likely campaign on a platform similar to those from his earlier contests. He would probably speak extensively about environmentalism, a broadened Park City economy and representing the various demographics of the city.
If Williams does not seek re-election, the mayoral campaign could attract far more interest since the incumbent will not be on the ballot. If that was the case, both known leaders and long shot candidates may mount campaigns in what could end up as a political scrum.
If more than two people seek the mayor’s office, a primary would be held to reduce the field to two for Election Day. If not, the two people would face each other for the first time on Election Day itself. The winner will be sworn into office in early 2014.
Williams in 2001 and 2009 beat top-tier candidates in hotly contested campaigns. He eventually dispatched the opponents by wide margins in each of them. He was unchallenged when he won his second term in 2005.
Beerman said early in the week he is "seriously considering" a mayoral campaign, indicating that he had spoken to Williams about this year’s election. Beerman did not disclose details about the conversation.
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