Councilman Kenny Hardin announces intention to run for re-election
In the running
By Jessica Coates
SALISBURY — After saying in April that he would not seek re-election to the Salisbury City Council, Kenny Hardin now says he will be a candidate after all.
And in addition to wanting to stay on the council, Hardin says he wants to be mayor.
“In light of the divisive actions of city leaders over the past two weeks, I am committed to being a mayor that will truly represent all people and move this city forward in a progressive direction,” he said in a Facebook post Thursday.
In accordance with city law, the mayor is not chosen in municipal elections but is chosen from among the elected City Council members at their first meeting after the November election.
But Hardin is already making clear to his constituents that, should he be re-elected to the council, he would seek the mayoral position.
Hardin said in his Facebook post that since he announced in April that he would not seek re-election, he has received many requests to rethink that decision.
“I’ve been listening to the hordes of voice mails, reading the many text and inbox messages and engaging the countless numbers of people who stop me every day when I’m out asking me to please reconsider,” he said in the post.
Hardin said the requests have come from all types of people, “both black and white, young and old, poor and the financially comfortable.”
To those that have been supporting him, he makes the following request at the end of his post: “I will continue to be the strong servant leader I’ve shown you thus far. I appreciate all the love and kind sentiments, but I need your strong support.”
Hardin, who was first elected to the City Council in 2015, is a consultant for a nonprofit group called Dedication to Community, which was founded in 2012.
The pattern of dropping out of a race only to jump back in again is not unusual for Salisbury City Council members. During the 2015 election cycle, Mayor Pro Tem Maggie Blackwell said she would not run for re-election, only to be swayed at the last minute by supporters who encouraged her to run.
The filing period for municipal races begins at noon July 7 and ends at noon July 21.
Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.
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