Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx is not running for a third term.
Foxx announced his decision during this interview with WSOC-TV. Foxx says reports that President Obama is considering him as the next Secretary of Transportation has nothing to do with his decision. He said he's been discussing it with his wife for a few months. Foxx said the big reason he’s leaving because he feels he’s accomplished much of what he came into office to do.
"When I came into this office, I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to push our city towards, and we've come a good bit of the way there," he told WSOC-TV.
Foxx released a lengthy statement this morning that lists his accomplishments, and what he calls "critical decisions" that will be made over the next few months. At the top of his list - control of Charlotte Douglas International Airport and what will be done to give the Carolina Panthers financial assistance to upgrade Bank of America Stadium.
"There is indeed a season for everything," Foxx said in his statement. "I entered my years a mayor believing that the role is and should be 'a season,' not a lifetime. There should be frequent transitions, new voices in the discussion and constant, vigorous effort to position Charlotte for success."
Foxx was not available for comment Friday afternoon. Instead, campaign spokeswoman, Jill Santuccio addressed the media late Friday afternoon in the lobby of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.
One reporter asked her if Foxx appropriately handled the announcement. "It seems highly unusual for somebody to just say, "I'm not going to do it again, and leave town," the reporter noted.
"I can't comment on how the timing came about because I wasn't part of that decision," Santuccio said. "I'm not part of his family, I am not part of his relationships and what all the conversations were..."
Foxx spoke to the Charlotte Observer late Friday. Here's an excerpt from that story:
“Mayor-for-life was not the mentality I brought to this office,” he said. “You come in with your priorities and you work hard to advance them. The city actually becomes a better, stronger place when there are more transitions, new ideas and people come in and put fresh eyes on this great city of ours.”
Foxx’s decision comes as the city is involved in pivotal discussions over the future of its airport, football stadium and a neighborhood-improvement plan that includes a controversial streetcar. City Manager Ron Carlee, who runs the day-to-day operations of the city, started work just this week.
Foxx, who said he plans to serve out his term, pledged to continue to lead, even if he’s suddenly a lame duck. “In some ways I can perhaps be more pointed. Diplomacy is a good thing. But sometimes being pointed can be better."
Democratic Councilman David Howard says the mayor had been dropping hints over the last couple months that he wouldn’t seek re-election. Howard is an ally of the mayor’s. He says Foxx will still be around for several big issues facing the city including the streetcar, control of the airport and funding for Bank of America Stadium improvements.
"I think this means now that we’re starting to wrap things up, he can probably move on. Because we will have a resolution one way or the other in the next couple months on the airport and a number of other issues," Howard said.
Councilman Andy Dulin says the mayor’s announcement is another hit against the streetcar since it’s losing its biggest champion.
Foxx gave no indication of this announcement Wednesday when he and new City Manager Ron Carlee were guests on WFAE's Charlotte Talks. Near the end of the show, host Mike Collins pressed Foxx about reports that he was under consideration to be appointed U.S. Secretary of Transportation. Foxx wouldn't bite.
"I'm allowed to talk about great things about being mayor of Charlotte, and I love being mayor of Charlotte," Foxx said.