Standing before a handful of people in a parking lot surrounded by blighted buildings, Ward 2 Alderman Gail Simpson announced she’s running for Mayor in the 2015 election.
She says it’s a decision she came to roughly ten months ago, but waited to announce so she could see how the rest of the field shaped up.
Simpson says she made her decision because she can do more good for the whole community in a higher position. She says she doesn’t have much input in city-wide issues, except in her ward, and her ward always gets the short end of the stick.
“My frustration level was so high that I couldn’t be an alderman again and continue to deal with the frustrations, not being able to address the serious concerns in Ward 2, and it was that point when I decided to run for mayor, ” says Simpon.
She will not seek a third term as Ward 2 Alderman but is hopeful someone will step up.
“I hope there are a number of candiates seeking to replace me as alderman. The people of this great community deserve committed and informed candidates,” Simpson adds.
Simpson says the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” in Springfield is large, and she wants to help mend that gap. It’s unclear if she’s gotten support from area Democratic organizations, such as the Sangamon County Democrats, chaired by Ward 3 Alderman Doris Turner.
But Simpson assured reporters she’s got “plenty of support.”
Sheila Stocks-Smith, who ran an unsuccessful campaign against incumbent Mike Houston in 2011, is said to be considering another bid. Sangamon County Auditor Paul Palazzolo, City Treasurer Jim Langfelder and incumbent Mike Houston have already announced bids. There will be no primary if the field stays at four.