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Healdsburg mayor says he won’t run for reelection

Healdsburg Mayor Ozzy Jimenez, who was appointed to the City Council to fill a vacancy in 2020, has announced he will not be running for reelection when his term concludes at the end of this year.

In a Facebook post made Saturday, Jimenez said he would focus on supporting young people and people of color to become leaders in their communities.

“We need to continue to engage and mentor those young leaders courageous enough to dream big in entrepreneurship, non-profit, or civic engagement,” he said in his announcement. “My future focus will be how I can continue to create impact not only in our community but also more broadly within our county and region.”

The post ends: “Know that I feel content, complete and fully realized by my decision.”

Jimenez joined the council in July 2020 following the resignation of then-Mayor Leah Gold, who stepped down amid criticism over the city’s handling of systemic racism.

She was among city leaders who declined to have a formal discussion about police use-of-force policies following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020.

Gold resigned with 2½ years left on her term.

Jimenez, who was among Gold’s critics, was the third Latino council member in the city’s history and the first person of color since 1992 to represent Healdsburg.

He was also believed to be just the second openly gay member of the City Council behind Councilwoman Susan Jones, who was elected to one term in 2010.

Since his appointment, Jimenez had been an outspoken advocate for equality, equity and inclusion.

Jimenez, a graduate of Piner High School, is a lifelong resident of Sonoma County.

Reached Sunday evening, he added “Healdsburg is my home and always will be. I love being apart of this community and will continue to stay active. There is so much work to be done in our County and region and much of that work goes far beyond our City.”

You can reach Staff Writer Colin Atagi at colin.atagi@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @colin_atagi

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