Sam Katz not running for re-election as Winnipeg mayor
Warns candidates in race to replace him job 'takes a long time away from your family'
Winnipeg mayor Sam Katz won't run for re-election in the fall's municipal election.
Katz's press secretary confirmed it Friday. And Katz himself told reporters at an event in Central Park over the noon hour.
Up until now, Katz has held off saying whether he would run.
Katz was first elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2006 and 2010. He said Friday he made the decision not to run again after the last election.
"There was no tipping point," he said. "In my office, it's been there now for four years, October 28th, there was an article written where I said I would only run two full terms, [and] this will be my last term. That was actually written the day after I'd been elected. And I certainly started looking at that and reading that and you know, I am true to my word."
Katz admitted the lure of running again wasn't entirely out of his thoughts, though.
"When you have a thought and direction you want to go in, and you have organizations and groups and individuals calling you and meeting with you and sending you emails and texts telling you. 'Do you want to run?' it's not the easiest thing just saying no. So you keep on saying, 'Well, let me think about it, let me think about it.' And I do thank all those who encouraged me and wanted me to run but you know what? This was the decision that I'd made a long time ago. I believe this is also the decision that's best for my family. I can tell you, whoever becomes the next mayor, it takes a long time away from your family."
Katz wished all the candidates in the race to replace him "the best of luck."
Reaction to Katz's announcement
Mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis, who lost to Katz in the last election, put out this statement Friday.
I would like to express my thanks to Mayor Sam Katz for his service as Mayor of Winnipeg. It is never an easy decision to run for public office, and there are many sacrifices that come along with it. I truly wish Mayor Katz all the best, and hope he gets the quality time with his family that he deserves.
Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, who has had at times an icy relationship with Katz, also released a statement.
I'd like to thank Sam Katz for his service to the city of Winnipeg. Public Service at any level requires significant sacrifice and commitment. I wish him the best of luck in all his future endeavours.
Two candidates land endorsements
Mayoral candidate Brian Bowman has snagged a heavy-hitting endorsement in his bid to become Winnipeg's next mayor.
Winnipeg Jets owner Mark Chipman hosted a fundraiser for Bowman at the MTS Centre Thursday night. It was a private event that included a number of other prominent business people.
Meanwhile, the Winnipeg Labour Council has endorsed former NDP MP and MLA Judy Wasylycia-Leis.