It is with a heavy heart that I must report to you that I withdraw my candidacy for alderman of the 29th Ward. It was official last Friday, Jan. 12.

Due to the long weekend, this is my first opportunity to report this news to you. Although we were successful in gathering over 4,000 signatures, we failed to include a receipt for the statement of economic interest, which in election law is a fatal flaw.

And, while we believed that the person who objected to my petitions was not a valid objector, by the time we were able to convince election authorities of this, the election would be over.

So, we had to decide: Do we continue to hang people’s hopes on the possibility that we might get on the ballot, or do we fold? More likely than not, due to the fatal error, we would have been knocked off the ballot. The second question became not if, but when do we withdraw.

Since this has happened, other candidates who have run for office and those who are in office have confessed to me that something similar happened to them. While I appreciate their affection, it does not diminish the seriousness of the problem. It is a hard pill to swallow and quite humbling.

Politics can be a risky business-one never knows what can happen.

So many people have contributed to my campaign in so many ways. With all my heart and from the depths of my soul, I thank you for all of your help. We were able to raise some issues in the ward, and were able to develop and publish a resource guide that people are using to improve their quality of life.

I have some great friends I wish to thank for supporting me-especially Debbie and Mark from California, B.R. (you know who you are), and thank God for Cong. Danny K. Davis, who has contributed tens of thousands of dollars to my campaign and for supporting me along the way. Cong. Davis also supported my legal challenge, which would have cost thousands of dollars more if we had continued. Recognizing that I still have campaign debt, after my withdrawal, he also paid for billboards and donated those billboards to the Bill “Doc” Walls and Dorothy Brown mayoral campaigns.

I never really knew my father, but Cong. Davis is the closest person to it.

So, now we must move on. I am not one to wallow in self-pity-the people need too much from us to waste time wondering what could have been. We must press on and do what we can to improve the quality of life for people.

I have some vacation time, so I plan to take this week to recoup and plan for the future. Next week, I will return to my job as director of Public Policy and Programs for Cong. Davis. I also wish to thank my church, Mandell United Methodist, for consistently and constantly praying for me to do God’s work and the right thing always.

We have a lot of work to do, both legislatively and programatically, and I am looking forward to enhancing that agenda on both a local and a national level. The people need us to work with them to help them re-enter society from incarceration, to get off drugs, to find affordable housing, to help teenage mothers, and to just lift people up.

Again, thank you for all your support, and I sincerely appreciate all your hopes, good will and best wishes for not only me but also the people we proposed to represent in the City Council.