Mayor will not run again

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Mayor Lore Christopher offers a toast at the end of the Jan. 25 Keizer First Citizen Awards Banquet. Christopher, the mayor since 2001, announced she won't be seeking an eighth term. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Mayor Lore Christopher offers a toast at the end of the Jan. 25 Keizer First Citizen Awards Banquet. Christopher, the mayor since 2001, announced she won’t be seeking an eighth term. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Are the floodgates going to open?

Keizer Mayor Lore Christopher, who was first elected to the position in 2000, formally announced last weekend she will not be seeking another two-year term this fall.

Christopher made the announcement during the Jan. 25 First Citizen Awards Banquet at the Keizer Community Center.

In 2012, when Christopher faced a challenge – her first in a decade – from then-councilor David McCane, Christopher said it would be her last campaign.

On Tuesday, Christopher again emphasized she won’t be running and explained why.

“That’s right,” Christopher told the Keizertimes. “I believe in a citizen government. I don’t believe in staying in a position for life. I’ve been here 14 years. Everything I set out to do has either been done or will come to fruition by the end of the year. There are people on council who are capable of carrying it forward.”

Two of those people, Cathy Clark and Joe Egli, filed to run for mayor in 2012. Clark never did actually run, while Egli did briefly before dropping out. This week, Clark announced she is indeed running for mayor this time (see related story).

“Cathy has already committed to running, while Joe was interested last time,” Christopher said. “I don’t know who else might be interested. Those two both have experience on the city council. A lot of people in our community have experience and the right motivation to move the community forward. When they hear I’m not running, I think more (will come forward). It’s always difficult to run against the incumbent.”

Christopher said she will endorse someone once she sees the final field.

“I’m a recruiter by trade,” said Christopher, director of human resources for the state legislature. “Right now, we have an open position. For me, the minimum qualifications would be honesty, integrity, experience and established relations with people we deal with.”

Clark gave kudos to what Christopher has accomplished.

“Lore makes a difference in everything she does,” Clark posted on Facebook Monday morning. “Her tenure as mayor has changed Keizer for the better. And she will continue to make her world a better and more beautiful place in everything she puts her mind and passion to.”

Former councilor Richard Walsh, now a Keizer Parks Board member and co-chair of the Community Build Play Structure project, also spoke about Christopher.

“A great era in Keizer history is coming to an end,” Walsh said. “She will be very missed. So much of present day Keizer has been influenced by her work and leadership. Of course if she wants to keep making things happen she can always join us on the Parks Board!”

Don’t expect that to happen, according to Christopher.

“I have interests,” she said. “There are things I’ll be involved in, but not in a formal nature. That doesn’t mean I won’t help them. I would like to work more for the public arts. I have a big interest there, but it doesn’t have to be formal. Each of us as citizens have the ability to give back at any time.”

Between The Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park, the Silverton Health and Kaiser Permanente clinics and the REI building all set to open in 2014, Christopher sees a mission accomplished.

“Everything I’ve worked on is all scheduled to be done,” she said. “I’m thrilled about that.”

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