Independent mayoral candidate Ronald Wagner has ended his campaign for Rome’s highest office.
“After much debate, I am dropping out of the race for mayor,” Wagner wrote on Facebook Tuesday night.
“For personal and other reasons I find myself having to pick and choose from positive change or saving my business, which I found hurting even worse after announcing running for mayor,” Wagner added.
Wagner owns and operates Wagner Farms, and almost closed the business last year due to mounting debts and falling sales revenue.
“I am a person who fights for everything I have and have done both in business and for the community,” Wagner wrote, adding that “I remain in business today because I am not up to
giving in, however, for the first time ever, I have to admit I give up on something I wanted. Moving on with the farm I look forward to see(ing) you all this summer.”
“Rome needs change, I was willing to give it try and help, instead I find myself on the used end. A farmer is the smartest person today, we work with nothing or very little and find ways to get things done, 365 days a year, we put up with more BS and crap than anyone else,” Wagner added on his website.
“The fact that I have continued to get things done despite all that has been done to me in life seems to make people afraid and resentful. That resentment or hatred towards people who work 24/7/365 is why Rome needs change, we can not change until that hatred is gone and replaced with the idea that all people are equals, all people matter and all people are represented by those we elect,” Wagner wrote.
He added, “I leave this mayors race with a respect that those who step up need to be appreciated and looked upon as willing to take chances and deserve the basic respect that we are all people, politics brings the worst out in people as seen already.”
“There is a time and place for battles and belittling, but frankly don’t complain if you are not willing to step up and take on a system which is broken and underhanded,” the former mayoral candidate added.
Wagner declared his candidacy during a press conference at his farm in February, describing himself as “as a community leader,” a “business leader,” and “a taxpayer of Rome who’s tired of complaining ...”
Still vying for the office are incumbent Republican Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo, Republican David Mattoon, and Democrat David Halpin. Izzo and Mattoon will face off in a primary on June 25. The general election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5.