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Hampton Mayor Dietz “50/50 right now” on seeking re-election

HAMPTON – Shawn Dietz, Mayor of Hampton, this week announced that he is undecided on a run for a second term as mayor.

Mayor Dietz made the following explanation as to his intentions:

Hampton Mayor Shawn Dietz
Hampton Mayor Shawn Dietz

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be reflecting on my time in office, and will be making a decision on whether to seek re-election this fall. To be completely honest, I am about 50/50 right now. I will be sure to let you all know when I make my final decision.

There is considerably more to consider this time around than two years ago when I chose to enter public office. The two glaring issues that stick out in my mind are the facts that there is unfinished business that I would like to see through before I leave office, and this time I have the benefit of experiencing what it’s like to spend significant amounts of time away from my wife and three children for meetings.

When I ran the first time, I feel like I stepped into the race for the right reasons. Even though I had to unseat an incumbent, that was not my reason for entering. The bold fact is that I have always wanted to serve the public. From a young age, I wanted to carry on my family’s tradition of performing our civic duty. My father, grandfather, and uncles served in the military. For health reasons, I was unable to do the same so I felt that holding political office would have to suffice. It’s important to me that I run for the right reasons again. I won’t run in order to “prove” that I can win again. I won’t run to serve any interest other than that of the citizens of Hampton.

It’s been no secret that my political leanings are of a limited government persuasion, and so naturally there is something very uncomfortable about being continually wrapped in government; as George Washington once said, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Working with other entities, even when the goal is the same, has proven to be a cluster of epic proportions. However, I believe so firmly in the disinfectant of sunlight, that I will not concede in the rest of this term (or the next if there is one) that discussions dealing with the public interest should be held anywhere other than under the watchful eye of the public and their press.

I also have a much clearer picture of what the job entails than I did two years ago, and have learned to accept certain things, and become more frustrated with some of my own philosophies. When you hold certain principles in such high regard they tend to humble you, and in my case I have found that giving respect to a “home rule” or “local control” philosophy often means seeing your own agenda fail, which can be a bitter pill to swallow.

The next two weeks for me will be spent reflecting on the past 18 months since I took office, after which I will turn my focus to accepting and planning for the decision that I make so that I can inform you.

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