Apple Valley mayor won’t seek county board seat
Apple Valley Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland announced today she will not seek election to the Dakota County Board of Commissioners.
The announcement came a month after Hamann-Roland had declared her candidacy for the county board seat currently held by longtime Commissioner Will Branning, who is not seeking re-election in the fall.
Hamann-Roland, known to her constituents simply as “Mayor Mary,” said she wishes to remain in city office because that’s where she can have the greatest impact.
“I’m truly committed to being mayor of Apple Valley,” said the four-term mayor, whose current term expires at the end of 2014. “I certainly weighed the pros and cons of what it means to be a commissioner, and my sense is that I can be the best leader, and perhaps touch the most lives, being mayor.”
After Branning’s announcement May 8 that he plans to retire, Hamann-Roland was one of two high-profile officials from Apple Valley who announced plans to seek election to Branning’s seat on the board.
State Sen. Chris Gerlach, R-Apple Valley, whose Senate term expires at the end of this year, also announced his candidacy. His announcement came after the mayor’s.
Currently, Gerlach is the sole candidate to have officially filed for election to Branning’s board seat. (Though she announced her candidacy in May, Hamann-Roland never officially filed for office with the Minnesota secretary of state.)
Hamann-Roland said she came to her decision not to run for county board following weeks of “soul searching,” and she made her final decision during her daily 15-minute meditation on Tuesday morning.
Remaining mayor of Apple Valley, Hamann-Roland said, will allow her to focus on projects in her hometown, among them business expansion opportunities near the long-planned 147th Street transit station.
“There’s a ton of stuff that needs to be done,” she said. “I’m not interested in a battle (for the county seat) – I’m interested in collaboration and making things happen.
“If we all make that commitment to work with one another, our community can be strong and healthy and loving.”