Anacortes Mayor Laurie Gere announced Thursday night that she will not seek re-election as mayor in this year's election.
The primary election is Aug. 3, the general election on Nov. 2.
“It was a hard decision,” she said by phone. “There is a time to do things, and there’s a time to let go, and I do love the job. ... I always thought I would stay two or three terms.”
She will complete her second four-year term at year’s end. She said she decided to announce her plans now in fairness to the election process and potential candidates.
Announcing now will allow “new leaders to emerge and serve. We’ve got an incredible community that’s engaged. ... It’s an incredible opportunity, and it’s an incredible town.”
Gere said she would be ready to make a smooth transition for the next mayor. She said she told her staff and the council of the decision before she sent her statement to the newspaper Thursday.
”I’m excited for Anacortes and our future,” she said. “We’ve done a lot of good work in the last few years.”
As for what will come next, Gere still owns Gere-A-Deli restaurant — and she still has most of this year to serve out her term. After that?
“I’m ready to slow down and enjoy some travel, and focus on my family, my health and the deli,” she said in her statement.