As many of you may know, I have been struggling with a decision to stay an active candidate for a position on the Buncombe County Commission. Indecision is a crippling load for your mind and heart to carry. I have been torn between family and service to my community. I have four wonderful grandchildren and a family that has always been supportive in the past. I no longer feel I should live my life and place my political future ahead of my family. Serving four years on Asheville City Council was an honor, but not without stress and worry about where this city is headed.The Buncombe County Commission is now taking on the same potential look as the current "progressive" city council. Voters had better wake up before it is too late. City and County politics should not be about who is a Democrat or Republican. The leadership should be decided by voters who are informed and who is the most qualified to look after the taxpayer's best interests. I don't see that happening. That being said, I feel the best interests for myself is to place my family above everything else. Both my children do not want me to run and my wife is very concerned as well. She has seen my mood change already as the campaign is not far away from swinging into action. Those of you within my inner circle of friends have seen my frustration growing day to day. I have never been afraid to take a stand on conservative issues. My greatest frustration is with local politicians in the city and county that place power and turf over the real needs of hardworking taxpayers. I feel it is time for some other people to fight the good fight. Politics and holding on to public office are not what motivated me to run for council or for mayor. I think my past votes on many issues came in a loosing cause, but I never compromised my core beliefs. Unfortunately, most local, state, and federal politicians are making holding on to office a career and being reelected is all they really care about. Therefore, I am now dropping out of the race for County Commissioner. Those folks who have given me money will have it returned. Anyone who has given me cash needs to contact me as I plan to pay all of you back. I made the mistake of listening to others who asked me to run when deep inside my heart I did not have that burning desire to do so. I thought I could overcome that feeling, but I just could not. For that I am sorry. It would not be fair to my party nor my supporters to run a half-hearted campaign. I have decided to let all of you know at the same time as to not offend any one person. This is not an easy decision, but it is the right thing for me to do in this period of my life. I want to thank all of those folks who are supporters and I hope to see more of you in the future.
Good luck and God bless.
Joe Dunn has been a voice for reason in local politics, especially when he served on the Asheville City Council. I respect his decision to drop out of the race and wish him well, and would hope that he would make himself available from time to time to share his wisdom and advice on issues that affect Asheville and Buncombe County.