Niagara Gazette — A city resident who expressed interest in running for a seat on the Niagara Falls City Council has decided to drop out of the race.
Joseph Swartz, 23, cited the recent passing of his mother as the reason behind his decision.
"The recent and sudden loss of my mother, has taken a deep emotional toll on me," Swartz said in a statement issued to the media. "My mother was definitely an inspiration, and a fighter to the end. Her passing has led me to need more time with my family, to tie up lose ends, and to help my family get back on track after these painful times. It is for these reasons, that I have decided to end my bid for city council."
Swartz, a telephone operator at the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel, publicly announced plans to seek a city council seat back in January. The city's first openly gay candidate said he became interested in working in politics while filming city council meetings as a student for Niagara Falls High School's public access channel OSC-TV 21.
“To the people of Niagara Falls who have opened up their homes and hearts to me, through this campaign, and especially through these painful times, I would like to offer a sincere thank you," Swartz said in his statement. "Your dedication to our great city, and to the efforts to make it better are extremely heartening."
Swartz left open the possibility of a return to the political arena in the future.
“The end of this campaign does not signify the end of my fight for the city that I love – it merely strengthens it," he said. "I will continue to march with and for the citizens of Niagara Falls who agree that we indeed deserve better. As one door closes, another one opens, and multitudes of doors are opening up for our great city. What we must do now, is seize every opportunity before us, and continue to work hard to make our city come roaring back.
“I will continue this fight as a private citizen, and look forward to the opportunity to work with the community, and I especially look forward to the opportunities that lie before us. Thank You for the support in this campaign, and I will see you for the next campaign, you have not heard the last of me. Let's move forward now, together. God bless and God Speed.”