Alderman Richard Israel, D-Ward 1, has revealed that he will not run for
mayor in this fall's municipal elections.
Rather, Mr. Israel, 66, said he will seek another term as alderman.
Mr. Israel, who has been fighting Parkinson's disease, said his health
would prevent him from serving as a full-time mayor.
He touted that he has never missed a council meeting, and said he still
wants to focus on strengthening the city.
In deference to Alderman Israel's potential bid for mayor, the Ward 1 Residents Assn. has heretofore declined to invite potential mayoral candidates to speak, a practice that will likely end given this news.
I can say with some (although not total) confidence that this comes as a surprise. I have heard election chatter involving strategy to compete with the good Alderman. I would surmise that the threat of a heated primary campaign with opponents assailing his health was a formidable factor, in addition to the actual hardships of such a disease.
I disagree with Alderman Israel's policy towards bars, amongst other things, but I find him to be the most prepared and knowledgeable Alderman on the council. Every time he sponsors a bill, most of the other Alderman immediately ask to be named as co-sponsors, presumably because they can be assured that the bill is well researched and will probably be helpful to the city.
I wish him luck in his next campaign.