State Representative Cory Mason, D-Racine, announced today that he will not run for Mayor of Racine in the special election this Spring.
"While I am honored to have so many wonderful people ask me to consider running for mayor, I know I will be able to better serve the Racine community where I am now," he said.
Mason was first elected to the state Assembly in 2006. Earlier this month Speaker Mike Sheridan appointed him to the Legislature's Joint Committee on Finance.
"I believe I can do more for Racine, Mt. Pleasant, Sturtevant, and Elmwood Park as a member of Joint Finance than I can as mayor of Racine. As a legislator, there are things I would like to be part of accomplishing for our community: establishing KRM, increasing job training to get people back to work, holding down property taxes, investing in our schools and expanding access to affordable health care, just to name a few," Mason said. "Committing my full attention to the budget and legislative process will help ensure my vision for Racine is achieved."
When I spoke to Cory this weekend, he was clearly debating: "Am I a bigger asset to Racine staying where I am on the Joint Finance Committee, affecting some regional issues like taxes, KRM ... or being the mayor. I don't have the answer yet."
"Keeping the city moving forward is a really important job," he said. "It's an unfortunate set of circumstances we're in. You've got to have a captain."
Speaking of disgraced Mayor Gary Becker, he said, "Gary did some positive things for the city; you did have to acknowledge that he had a direction for the city. That's what made his personal conduct so doubly painful... setting the city back."
Mason is a lifelong resident, "born and raised here, went to Case High School, had family here for five generations. The Racine story was always that every generation got to do a little bit better than the generation before." As the father of a month-old daughter, he said, "that's what motivates me."