Mike Carter drops out of county mayor race, will resign from county job

Mike Carter drops out of county mayor race, will resign from county job

January 8th, 2011 by Dan Whisenhunt in Local - Breaking News

Accompanied by his wife, Joan Carter, Mike Carter smiles as he talks with people outside the Hamilton County Commission room on Monday morning after commissioners deadlocked in making a choice between Carter and Commissioner Jim Coppinger to replace the outgoing County Mayor.

Mike Carter, special assistant to Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey, today announced he will let County Commissioners who previously voted for him "vote their conscience" and said he would resign his position effective Monday. He also said he is considering a run for the office in 2012.

"I know I have the skills and abilities to be County Mayor, and Joan and I are already praying about running for office in 2012. This experience showed me many things about the ugly side of politics, but public service is still an honorable thing to do. However, I have the time, friends and commitment to prepare for 2012 and I intend to prayerfully consider running for County Mayor over the next few months," Carter wrote.

On Friday, Hamilton County Commissioner Warren Mackey changed his vote in support of Commission Chairman Jim Coppinger, giving Coppinger the necessary fifth vote to be appointed mayor, and said Carter's allegations of backroom dealings in the mayoral selection process was a big reason for his switch.

Today, Carter reiterated those allegations.

"As former County Executive Dalton Roberts said in the paper Friday morning, it is clear to all who chose to see that Commissioner Skillern and our soon-to-be County Mayor Coppinger had manipulated the process to allow Commissioner Coppinger to become mayor, and if necessary, without a vote," Carter wrote. "With Commissioner Mackey's change of heart, that won't be the case, but the transparency of the Commission's work will be interesting to watch in the days and months ahead."


Carter's full statement

Carter: "Being Candidate for County Mayor an Honor"

County Mayor Candidate Mike Carter said today that he has been honored to be a candidate for the County Mayor's office and that he is prayerfully considering running for the office in 2012. Carter also said he will resign his position in the County Mayor's office effective Monday.

"The overwhelming support in the form of emails, phone calls and prayers over the past few weeks has been humbling and is deeply appreciated by me and my family," said Carter. "Being a candidate for County Mayor has been an honor because of the incredible people that I have had the privilege to talk to over the past month."

Carter said he respects Commissioner Warren Mackey's decision to change his vote. "I told the four Commissioners supporting me on Friday that I wanted them to ignore the prior votes and to vote their conscience on Monday morning. I thank Commissioners Beck, Boyd, Bankston and Mackey for supporting me."

Carter said he was dismayed that the process to select an interim County Mayor did not reflect the transparency and openness that County citizens deserve. "As former County Executive Dalton Roberts said in the paper Friday morning, it is clear to all who chose to see that Commissioner Skillern and our soon-to-be County Mayor Coppinger had manipulated the process to allow Commissioner Coppinger to become mayor, and if necessary, without a vote. With Commissioner Mackey's change of heart, that won't be the case, but the transparency of the Commission's work will be interesting to watch in the days and months ahead."

Carter said the worst part of the process were the falsehoods and attacks on his character. "There were a lot of things said behind the scenes about me that were simply lies, and I have to believe the people saying them knew they were lies. I guess that is part of being a political candidate, but that's very unfortunate."

Carter pointed to the assertion made by some that he was the source of information regarding the ethics complaint filed against Judges Bob Moon and David Bales. "I think the record now clearly shows that I had absolutely nothing to do with the complaint against the two judges. Nevertheless, many Commissioners were told I was responsible."

Carter said he would submit a letter of resignation to Mayor Claude Ramsey on Monday for his position in the Mayor's office and that he will continue to work in the private sector.

"I know I have the skills and abilities to be County Mayor, and Joan and I are already praying about running for office in 2012. This experience showed me many things about the ugly side of politics, but public service is still an honorable thing to do. However, I have the time, friends and commitment to prepare for 2012 and I intend to prayerfully consider running for County Mayor over the next few months."