Keokuk Mayor Will Step Down

Keokuk, IA – Keokuk Mayor Dave Gudgel says he will not seek another term in office. He says several factors led to his decision.

Gudgel says one is the fact that his children and grandchildren are spread out throughout the country. He says he and his wife, Leah, want to spend more time with them.

Gudgel says it is also time for some new blood in the mayor's office. "When one is mayor, it is not a lifetime appointment," says Gudgel, "At some point, if you are doing your job, you sit back and say, you know, maybe it is time for a new set of eyes. Maybe it is time for maybe a different direction."

Gudgel was first elected mayor in November of 2001. He says he is proud of Keokuk's accomplishments during his eight years in office.

In particular, Gudgel points to the multi-year street reconstruction project, the new Rand Park Pavilion, and the new aquatics center. He says he is also proud of the volunteerism displayed everyday in Keokuk.

Gudgel says he will continue to be involved in projects throughout the city and is willing to serve on various boards and commissions. "I am not walking away from Keokuk," says Gudgel, "I am just going to step aside and let someone else come in and sit in this chair."

Gudgel was diagnosed with cancer several years ago. He says that while his cancer is basically in remission it did play a factor in his decision because he wants to make sure he has plenty of time to spend with his family.

Seven people have taken out papers to serve as mayor: Chuck Betts, Tom Marion, Carol Mardis, Gordon Blankenship, Corey Samuels, Per Malm, and Allen Knisley. The deadline to file, though is still one month away.

Gudgel says, at this point, he does not see himself endorsing a candidate in the race. The November election also includes 7 of the 9 seats on the Keokuk City Council.

Gudgel says he will truly miss the job, adding that it will be an emotional time for him when he leaves office at the end of the year.

You can hear more with Keokuk Mayor Dave Gudgel, including his thoughts on the qualities the next mayor must possess, by clicking the audio link above.