Declaring that “there is still work to be done,” Mayor Art Madrid has confirmed that he intends to run for re-election in 2014.
Madrid, elected to his sixth consecutive term as La Mesa mayor in 2010, will be 80 when he runs in 2014.
“Age is only a number and like good wine, I keep improving with age,” Madrid told Patch via email Thursday.
“I am in excellent health with a rock solid backbone and can still see my feet. I have all, make that most, of my hair.”
Madrid pointed to several initiatives he hopes to be in charge of helping put in place, including building a new City Hall, implementing the downtown PBID and making city services more efficient through the selective merger of similar services with other East County jurisdictions.
“The list is endless,” he said.
In November 2010, Madrid defeated challenger Laura Lothian by his slimmest margin since 1990—5.6 percentage points. In 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006, Madrid won re-election by margins of 13, 44.6, 11.5 and 24 percent, respectively.
But Madrid will stay himself in the next race, he vowed.
“I am not a windsock looking to see which way the hot air is blowing so I can jump on their bandwagon,” he said. “I don't suck up to special interests or sell my soul.”
A year ago, Madrid expressed uncertainty about another run for office, telling a breakfast: “[It’s] premature to announce my campaign for 2014, but those of you who feel like running keep in mind that I’m really available for 2014.”
But he said he’s made known his intentions since Nov. 3, 2010.
“Some people have short memories, amnesia or are in denial of what I said the day after I was re-elected in 2010,” he told Patch. “ ‘I will be seeking re-election in 2014.’ That was my formal announcement.”
Madrid’s confirmation of his plans comes only days after a City Council meeting rife with controversy about the ongoing PBID issue.
During the meeting, the council was on whether to sign a petition calling for a vote on a Village business-improvement district. Madrid was the lone dissenting vote in a 3-1 council decision to postpone calling for a PBID ballot of downtown property owners, opting to readdress the issue in July.
Two days later, Madrid told La Mesa Today that he thought other members of the council, namely Vice Mayor Ernie Ewin, were “playing politics with the PBID, courting favor and plotting with [Madrid’s] opponents in town in preparation for [Ewin’s] eventual run for mayor in 2014.”
Ewin denied that assertion, telling La Mesa Today, “I don't have in my head what Art has in his head,'' Ewin said. “He's just wrong. I haven’t decided what I’m doing in 2014.”
In that interview, Madrid was more frank about his intentions in the next mayoral election.
“Hell yes, I’m running,” he said.