Connolly will not seek re-election

John Connolly

FRONT ROYAL – Councilman John Connolly will not throw his name in the ring for November’s election.

Connolly, 33, announced at the Town Council’s regular Monday meeting that he will not seek re-election, citing work and family as reasons he does not wish to retain a seat on the council. At the time of Connolly’s 2015 election, he had two kids and two more have since been added to the family.

“There’s simply a lot of calls on my time,” he said.

Connolly also has a new job since as a full-time librarian since his election and he said “there is just more responsibility.”

“It’s not impossible for me to conduct my duties as a town councilman but at the same time I’d rather be focusing on my family right now,” Connolly said.

Connolly said he announced the decision Monday night because prospective candidates have until the second week in June to  file the required paperwork.

“It’s fair to let them know kind of what the score is going to be,” he said.

Connolly said being elected to the council has been one of the greatest honors of his life and he is proud of everything the town has accomplished in the last four years. He thanked his fellow councilmen and Mayor Hollis Tharpe for the sacrifices they have made to serve the community. He also thanked Town Attorney Doug Napier and Town Clerk Jennifer Berry for their service to the council and personal assistance to him.

Connolly said the most “tremendous benefit” from his time on the council was the close-up view he received of how a town works and the challenges it faces.

“I wish every citizen could see the hard work and effort our town staff puts in to keep lights on, the streets clear and the water running,” he said, noting the efforts of Town Manager Joe Waltz and department heads.

While he is stepping away for now, Connolly said he would love to get involved again at some point in the future.

“I want to stay close to it but as things stand right now I just need a bit of a break,” he said.

Berry took Connolly at his word about a possible future return. As she removed name tags from the podium after Monday’s meeting, she got to Connolly’s and said “I am keeping this because you will be coming back.”