I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who supported me during the time I considered running for mayor in Morro Bay. I heard and spoke to a wide swath of the community, including people who said they wouldn’t vote for me but gave me thoughtful and constructive feedback. Being mayor or any elected official is a responsibility that no one should take for granted, so I appreciate the candor from residents that recognize the importance and symbolism that position holds.
After months of careful and meticulous consideration, I decided that I will not be seeking a mayoral run.
Let me be abundantly clear: I love politics and policy. When my father ran for director of Los Osos Community Services District in 2006, I couldn’t have been prouder of him. That was when I started thinking about running for public office one day. Fast forward to 2014 when I served on the Morro Bay Recreation & Parks Commission. For the first time, I was sitting behind the dais and engaging the community in a direct way. I truly felt I could make more a difference this way. But at the time, I wasn’t mature enough to truly appreciate what that responsibility meant. I knew I needed more time to grow. It would take several years of being tested emotionally, physically and spiritually in order for me to come out the other side and then figure out what I wanted to do.
I like my privacy and I love my family. Running for office unfortunately means they’re under the microscope as well. Though the past few years have certainly been challenging for all of us, there is this odd peace that I’ve enjoyed. As many of you know, my family and I were viciously attacked because of choices I made to speak out against people and organizations seeking to divide our community over lies and conspiracy theories. This resulted in security concerns that required constant communication and assistance from law enforcement. I’m certainly not blameless in that whole equation though. With my words, I was provocative. I mocked and roasted them over an open fire on social media and my columns. But expressing opinions is not a crime. After publishing my book that catalogued my personal experiences with them, I felt like a tremendous weight was lifted off my shoulders. No longer was I at the center of their crosshairs. I was able to reclaim my narrative, let the past go, learn from my mistakes and rebuild without the drama, harassment and death threats.
At this time in my life, running for public office would put me back at square one as far as having that bullseye on the back on my head. Does this mean I’m shying away from public scrutiny? No. In fact, I thrive on it and encourage public debate. However, in order for me to run, I need to first ensure that my family is sufficiently protected from harm. And second: I have to be completely at peace with my peace being disrupted, once again, for an extended period of time. I made the decision that I will need more time to fortify myself and those I care about.
Although I’ve decided to remain in the backseat for now, I promise to remain actively involved in bringing positive change to Morro Bay and SLO County for the foreseeable future.