Incumbent Joule drops from mayor's race
September 25th, 2015 | Carey Restino
Northwest Arctic Borough Mayor Reggie Joule pulled out of a re-election bid for his seat this morning saying he was worn out from years of public service.
Joule, who recently hosted a visit from President Barack Obama in Kotzebue as well as spoke at the GLACIER conference in front of an international panel of world leaders said he did not make the decision to abort his bid for re-election easily.
"Part of my makeup is that I think about things for a long time and I have been thinking about this for quite some time," Joule said.
Joule went straight from his 16-year position in the Alaska House of Representatives representing the 40th District to his current post as mayor of the Northwest Arctic Borough in 2012.
"I'm just out of gas," he said. "I tend to marry these jobs when I get into them," he said, "much to the chagrin of my wife. So I'm withdrawing from the race."
Meanwhile, former borough mayor Martha Whiting said Friday she had decided to launch a write-in campaign for the mayor's seat. Whiting served two terms as mayor and was co-chair of the Northwest Arctic Leadership Team.
Joule said he does not have any future plans at this point, and though he said he may decide to do something else in the future, he does not know what that will be.
"I didn't pull out because I have something else going on," he said. "I just have not had much time to recoup, and I figured it was best to bow out."
With Joule out of the race, two candidates — Wendie Shaeffer and Clements Richards will vie for the mayoral position.
The remaining candidates said they were surprised by Joule's announcement.
"I don't know why he did what he did, but I'm disappointed," Richards said. "He has been a strong leader in our region for a long time for our people."
Shaeffer said she respects Joule's decision to withdraw from the race.
"Reggie has to do what is best for him and his family," she said. "I would like to acknowledge his service to the Northwest Arctic Borough and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors."
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.