BREAKING: Joel Burns won’t seek Wendy Davis’ Senate seat

Posted on 23 Oct 2013 at 4:28pm
Joel-Burns-(hi-res)

Joel Burns

Openly gay Fort Worth Councilman Joel Burns will not be seeking the Democratic nomination for Senate District 10, the seat currently held by gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis.

Burns announced his decision in an email Wednesday afternoon, citing his desire to continue his work on the Fort Worth City Council and family among his reasons.

“After many weeks of thought and consideration, my next steps have became very clear to me,” Burns announcement reads in part.  “And I want to share with you — my many friends, neighbors and supporters — my decision:  Quite simply, the job I most want is the one I already have.

“The mere prospect of serving in the Texas Senate is an incredible honor. And I am humbled that so many of you have entertained the prospect with me. But in evaluating what I want to do next, I have come to the realization that I have the job I want — to serve the people of Fort Worth and Council District 9.”

Burns, who took Davis’ seat on the council in 2007 when she resigned to run for the Senate, was a favorite to replace her there as well when she announced her bid for governor.

Read Burns’ full announcement letter below.

An update on Texas State Senate District 10 and my future.

Dear friends,

In the days since my friend Senator Wendy Davis announced her intention to be the next Governor of Texas, I have been blessed with an outpouring of encouragement from so many of you who reached out and ask that I consider running for State Senate District 10. I have spoken with many of you and others I trust and together we’ve mapped a strong potential path to victory for such a race. Texas needs new leadership in Austin, particularly on issues for which I am passionate like addressing the state’s decades-long neglect of our transportation needs and making sure Texas children have the best environments possible in which to learn and grow.

After many weeks of thought and consideration, my next steps have became very clear to me.  And I want to share with you — my many friends, neighbors and supporters — my decision:  Quite simply, the job I most want is the one I already have.

The mere prospect of serving in the Texas Senate is an incredible honor. And I am humbled that so many of you have entertained the prospect with me. But in evaluating what I want to do next, I have come to the realization that I have the job I want — to serve the people of Fort Worth and Council District 9. We still have much work to do in solving our own City’s transportation shortcomings, insuring we grow our tax base, and making sure we provide the best public safety and city services to our citizens while balancing our City budget. The themes of “Safe Neighborhoods, Quality Economic Development and Forward-thinking Transportation Solutions” that lead my first race in 2007 remain my guiding principles and priorities in service today. And though Texas municipalities do not run our schools, working with our school districts to improve our children’s lives and education will always remain a priority for me.

For those who might be disappointed in this news, I want you to know the decision I make today is made easier for me by one I made more than 20 years ago. I stood on a West Texas hilltop in 1993 and asked J.D. Angle to spend the rest of his life with me, committing to love and support him. As I think back over the last 20 years to any time I chose to step up to “something big” such as my first run for office, or the days and months that followed my 2010 Council comments on bullying and teen suicide, J.D. has always been my unwavering foundation of support. As I have watched him invest untold hours, effort and intellect in recent months to building and running Wendy’s campaign for Governor, I know this is his “something big”. It is again my time to support him. In doing so I hope we elect a Governor and state leadership that will provide tools for cities like Fort Worth to better succeed, and indeed, for all Texans to better succeed.

I know a thing or two about following in the footsteps of the brave, smart Ms. Davis, who preceded me as Fort Worth’s District 9 Councilmember. Whoever succeeds Wendy in the Texas Senate has their work cut out for them. And though I am not running, I remain committed to my fellow Senate District 10 residents and will work exhaustively to find, support and elect a credible, qualified next State Senator for Fort Worth and Tarrant County who will serve in the tradition of Wendy Davis. We deserve no less.

Thank you for allowing me the honor and privilege of continuing to serve the wonderful, committed people of Fort Worth. I look forward to the work we have ahead of us.

Looking forward,

Joel

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