James Schmitt, the current mayor of Green Bay, addressed the public over his decision to not run for re-election. Mayor Schmitt had made a similar announcement last year.
In a statement on Monday, Schmitt says he's, "decided to step aside and vote for someone else to lead this great city."
Mayor Schmitt has served as the city's mayor for 15 years. He was first elected in 2003 and won re-election in 2007, 2011 and 2015. His tenure as mayor has at times been controversial, which he acknowledged in Monday's statement.
"Politics at times can be a blood sport," Schmitt said. "[T]hings are said in the heat of battle that probably could have been said in a better way. If I’ve offended anyone with my words or my decisions, I sincerely apologize."
In February 2017, a Green Bay resident started a petition to remove Mayor Schmitt from office after he was convicted of campaign finance fraud. The Common Council voted to keep him in office.
On Monday, Schmitt also touted his many accomplishments as mayor, including how Green Bay has grown.
"We’ve accomplished a lot together in a relatively short period of time," Schmitt says. "Our Downtown is strong with Nicolet Bank, Schreiber Foods Offices, Associated Bank headquarters, the Railyard, Hagemeister Park, and of course the City Deck. It’s odd to think that prior to us getting here there was no Famers’ Market on Broadway, or 'Fridays on the Fox,' or (my favorite event) Kids’ Day, which I started the year I was elected. Now we have over 10,000 kids who participate each and every year."
Mayor Schmitt's full statement can be found here.