9th Dist. Councilman Shultz "Seriously Considering" Third Term Write-In Candidacy; Says He'd Step Aside If "Well Qualified" Candidate Steps Forward
Denies inconsistency with his previous pledge made during Council discussion of now-defeated ballot measure not to seek third term
(June 4, 2001) -- Ninth district (NLB) Councilman Jerry Shultz has told LBReport.com he's "seriously considering" a third-term write-in candidacy in 2002, would step aside if a candidate he deems well-qualified enters the race and denied any inconsistency with his pledge not to seek a third term, made last year during Council discussion of a subsequently defeated ballot measure.
In a telephone interview with LBReport.com (salient portions below), Shultz stopped short of saying he would seek a third term by write-in, a step now being pursued by two-term incumbent Mayor Beverly O'Neill.
However, Shultz said his NLB constituents have been calling on him to run and this was reaching "a crescendo." He added he'd step aside if a candidate he considered "well qualified" were to run.
Under LB's term limits law, two-term incumbents can legally seek a third term by means of a write-in candidacy.
Councilman Shultz denied any inconsistency with his pledge not to seek a third term made last year (transcript below) during Council discussion of a proposed ballot measure, prompted by a proposal from Shultz, to change part of LB's term limits law.
Shultz told LBReport.com he would not have campaigned for re-election if the ballot measure had passed, but since his pledge was meant to avoid any self-serving appearance concerning his support for the ballot measure, and the measure didn't pass, the issue is off the table and there is no inconsistency in his position now.
During an August 1, 2000 Council discussion of whether to put on the November 2000 ballot a measure to change part of LB's term-limits law (letting a two-term incumbent's name be printed on the runoff ballot if he/she finishes first or second in the primary as write-in candidate), Councilman Shultz said in pertinent part:
"The perception of this item being self-serving was raised by Councilman Carroll at the Charter [Amendment] Committee meeting. I happen to agree with him.
"Since I have always made decisions on this Council with the highest regard for integrity, and for doing so for the right reasons, I have decided, and will announce tonight, that I shall not seek, nor will I campaign for a third term for the ninth district.
"By doing so, I remove myself from this equation..."
Prop K failed by just under 1,000 votes out of over 82,000 citywide (Yes: 49.43%. No: 50.57%), losing in the heavily voted 3d and 5th Council districts (by a smaller margin in the 4th district) but carrying elsewhere including in Shultz's NLB district. 9th district: Yes: 53.3% (4,151); No: 46.7% (3,639).
In 1994, Shultz ousted NLB incumbent Warren Harwood, then won re-election handily in 1998.
LBReport.com posts below the Councilman's salient telephone colloquy on these subjects which took place on June 3, 2001:
Councilman Shultz: All I've said is I am seriously considering the possibility of a write-in campaign, primarily because everybody's been asking me to. It's not something I've originated and I've been resisting doing it, and many of my constituents all across the district, and people throughout the city have consistently encouraged me to run again.
And what would convince me to do so would be the following. I have an unusual district. I don't have a large number of people standing by in the wings ready to step in and run. In fact we've got nobody except maybe one person.
And what bothers me is, a lot of times if you have an open seat with not a significant interest, it invites carpetbaggers from other cities to come in, establish themselves and run. That happened here back when Warren Harwood was in office, when a fireman came in from Downey and tried to run in my district.
That would concern me immensely. I don't want outsiders running in my city for the purpose of running.
So that's what I'm toying with, that's what I'm considering..
LBReport.com: What about your comments in August 2000 when the ballot measure...
Councilman Shultz (interjecting): That was linked to Proposition K.
LBReport.com: It sure was.
Councilman Shultz: Had Proposition K passed I would not have run, I would have kept my word. Proposition K was defeated. I feel that's off the table now.
Because the reason I said that, it would have appeared as if that would have been a self-interest thing to do...For the record however, that [Prop K] passed in six of the nine [Council] districts...
Had Proposition K passed, I would have done nothing. If someone were to write my name in, fine. I would not have campaigned. Proposition K did not pass. I don't feel bound by that. There's a reason for it.
I am concerned about my district. You know, almost every district in the city, when an open seat comes up, there's probably eight or ten or more people lining up to run.
LBReport.com: So are you saying if some people from the district decided to run, you would not?
Councilman Shultz: It depends if I felt they were qualified and able...If there were a well-qualified person step up to the plate here, I would have no problem stepping aside and let that person run and helping them out. I haven't seen that yet.
LBReport.com...You said citizens are already asking you to run.
Councilman Shultz: They've been asking me for the past year, and it's reaching a crescendo. No matter where I go, people are asking me, "You've gotta run Jerry, you've gotta run." I've had some people in my neighborhood say, "Jerry if you're not our Councilman next time I'm movin' out of here." That's the kind of stuff I'm hearing.