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Posted: August 23, 2011 8:02 p.m.

Keener drops out of mayoral race

David Keener has pulled out of the Social Circle mayoral race. He announced his decision Friday in a letter.

"As I began my campaign earlier this year, I felt vibrant and good about the support I was receiving as I visited Social Circle's neighborhoods and spoke about my positive campaign platform. I talked with people about "the reasons why they should vote for me" and totally refrained from ever discussing "why they should not vote for someone else." Somewhere along the way, rumors began to be spread about me that were unwarranted and completely untrue. These rumors have turned my campaign into one in which I constantly have to battle with the negativity."

Keener said that rumors he was planning to eliminate the Department of Public Safety and the city manager's position if elected were untrue.

"I said in the beginning, and it holds true today, that I will not run a negative campaign. The citizens of Social Circle do not deserve negativity. Campaigns need to focus on real issues and proposed solutions instead of necessitating that citizens base their choices on "untrue rumors." I readily accept and welcome differences of opinion, strong debate and open discussion as these things are the basis for good government. But I reiterate the fact that I will not participate in a negative campaign."

Keener plans to retain his current position as council member for District 3. Those interested in his thoughts can visit his website at www.davidkeenerformayor.com or email him with questions at david@davidkeenerformayor.com.

Below is Keener's full letter:

"I am extremely saddened to announce my decision to withdraw from this year's Social Circle Mayoral race.

As I began my campaign earlier this year, I felt vibrant and good about the support I was receiving as I visited Social Circle's neighborhoods and spoke about my positive campaign platform. I talked with people about "the reasons why they should vote for me" and totally refrained from ever discussing "why they should not vote for someone else." Somewhere along the way, rumors began to be spread about me that were unwarranted and completely untrue. These rumors have turned my campaign into one in which I constantly have to battle with the negativity.

I would like to take this opportunity to dispel two of the false rumors that are being circulated.

The first rumor that I will address states that, when elected Mayor, I would eliminate our Department of Public Safety and go back to having Walton County provide the total coverage for our city. The rumor further states that I have already spoken with Sheriff Chapman and asked him to provide me with a cost and estimate of the number of personnel he could provide for us. The facts are, I never had a plan to eliminate our Department of Public Safety and I have never spoken with Sheriff Chapman concerning the provisioning of such services for our community. However, as with any city, I do feel that Social Circle should maintain a mutually beneficial and healthy relationship with our county government.

The second rumor states that, when elected Mayor, I would eliminate our current City Manager and change our form of government to that of a Strong Mayor where I would receive the City Manager's pay. The fact is, our present form of city government has worked well for us, and I believe it is in our best interest to continue with the services of a full-time City Manager together with our Mayor and Council.

I said in the beginning, and it holds true today, that I will not run a negative campaign. The citizens of Social Circle do not deserve negativity. Campaigns need to focus on real issues and proposed solutions instead of necessitating that citizens base their choices on "untrue rumors." I readily accept and welcome differences of opinion, strong debate and open discussion as these things are the basis for good government. But, I reiterate the fact that I will not participate in a negative campaign.

My passion to serve this community remains the same; therefore, I will retain my current position as Council Member for District 3. I will continue to serve my constituents by representing them in the strongly positive and proactive manner they have come to expect of me.

Although I am not seeking election as Mayor this year, my vision for our city still remains the same and I will leave my website intact for those that wish to follow my thoughts. The website is www.DavidKeenerForMayor.com and if you have questions or concerns please feel free to contact me via email at David@DavidKeenerForMayor.com."

Respectfully submitted,

David Keener 

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