UPDATED 1:43 p.m., Jan. 29
Citing the toxicity of local government, Village Trustee Dan Moroney withdrew his candidacy for village president of Oak Park on Thursday, leaving a race that once had four candidates with only two.
Still in the running are Cate Readling, former part-time parks district employee, and Village Clerk Vicki Scaman.
“I have come to a point where I no longer have the necessary drive, belief or desire to proceed with what I set out to do two months ago,” Moroney said in an email thanking his campaign supporters.
“Although my concern for Oak Park has increased during this time, my confidence has diminished regarding how much can be done to alter its downward political trajectory.”
Twice in his email to campaign supporters, Moroney stated that he believed he would have won the election had he decided not to drop out.
“While I believe that if I stayed in the race I would get to a winning outcome, I am unconvinced that I would be able to be productive after taking office,” Moroney’s email reads.
Moroney made his second mention of a “winning outcome” after stating that the “toxicity” that has “crept into local politics” would inflict more damage to himself and his family than tolerable.
“I cannot, in good conscience, ask for people’s votes when I am not fully committed to what would follow a winning outcome,” Moroney wrote in the email.
In another email, Moroney sent a notarized withdrawal of candidacy in the April 6 election; the email was delivered to the village clerk; the clerk’s responsibilities include ballot certification.
Scaman confirmed she had received Moroney’s email sent to her on Jan. 28, the last day candidates can withdraw. The email was delivered to her at 3:26 p.m., just over an hour and a half before 5 p.m., when the window to withdraw closes.
Moroney is the second candidate to drop out of the race for Oak Park village president, also referred to as mayor. Moroney’s fellow village board member, Trustee Simone Boutet withdrew her candidacy on Jan. 16. She dropped out of the running once before on Sept. 9 but reentered Sept. 22.
Surprise reversals in stance seems to have become de rigueur in Oak Park regarding the April 6 election. Moroney’s withdrawal occurred the same day that the Oak Park Municipal Officers Electoral Board reversed its decision on trustee candidate Anthony Clark. The electoral board had previously voted 2-1 on Jan. 25 to uphold the residency challenge made against Clark but overturned their decision Jan. 28, allowing Clark’s name to appear on the ballot.