Former Antioch Mayor Harper pulls out of race for comeback effort

Wade Harper announces campaign for Mayor of Antioch on July 20, 2020. Screenshot of Facebook Live video that has since been removed.

One more candidate files nomination papers

By Allen Payton

In a post on Facebook, Thursday night former Antioch Mayor Wade Harper announced he had changed his mind and will not make a comeback effort and run for mayor, this year. Instead he will “focus on ministry, family, bike riding and other retiree stuff.”

In a Facebook Live video on Monday, July 20, which has since been removed, Harper said, “Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I am standing here in front of Antioch City Hall. I just pulled my papers to run for re-election for Mayor of the City of Antioch. I believe I did a great job as mayor bringing economic development, more funding for law enforcement and cleaning up blight and graffiti, and just being the point guard or the team.”

“It is in my heart to serve this city. Before I went in and pulled my papers, I anointed my hands for this great work that’s before me. I anointed my mind so that I can contemplate on the wonderful things that we want to do for the city of Antioch. I anointed my heart because I believe my heart is in the right place to serve this city. And I believe this is a calling for me and I understand as a former pastor if you don’t love them you can’t lead them, and I love this city,” he continued. “We’re going to do some great things. I am the mayor that helped to bring the city of Antioch out of the great recession and it’s my desire, my goal to move this city forward out of the recession that we’re currently in. So, be on the look out for me. Pray for me, I need your prayers. I need your support. You’ll see me on the ballot. You’ll see me out in the community.”

However last night, Harper wrote the following:

“Friends, family, ladies and gentlemen: After much prayer and consideration I decided not to launch a campaign for re-election as mayor of the City of Antioch. While I have much to give and have a love for the people of Antioch I decided not to serve in the capacity of mayor. You don’t need a title to lead. During these difficult times Lisa and I participate with a counseling group that ministers to those who have lost loved-ones. We believe we are making a difference. I am also an elder at my local church. I plan to focus on ministry, family, bike riding and other retiree stuff. As a side note it was mentioned to me that in my previous comments I had too much of a focus on religion. With that said I want let all of my Facebook friends and family know that I Still Believe God! I believe Jesus Christ is Lord and He is our savior and healer. Love on your family during this pandemic and make sure you are assured of your salvation. God bless you!”

Screenshot of Harper’s Facebook page announcement on Thursday night, July 30 2020.

Harper was elected mayor in 2012 but lost for re-election to current Mayor Sean Wright by just 64 votes in a three-way race in 2016 that included Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock.

There is talk about a poll that was done about the mayor’s race with people in Antioch receiving calls. But that could not be confirmed before publication time or that it was the reason for Harper withdrawing from the race.

Remaining Candidates for Mayor, One More Files

Harper’s decision leaves six challengers for Wright, including Councilwoman Monica Wilson and former Antioch Planning Commission Chair Ken Turnage II. According to the Thursday report by Antioch City Clerk Arne Simonsen, one more candidate, Julio Mendez has filed his papers to run for mayor. But his signatures are being verified before the clerk’s office can determine that h is qualified. No definitive information can be found on Mendez from internet searches.

He is the second candidate to file papers in the race including 2014 candidate for California governor, Rakesh Kumar Christian.

For more information about local city and school board races see the Antioch Herald Elections 2020 page.

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Screenshot of Harper announcement 07-30-20


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