TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topeka's City Council will look to fill another vacancy.
District 8 representative Andrew Gray said in a news release issued by the city that he was resigning, effective 5 pm Monday. He cites personal health concerns and health concerns of an immediate family member.
“I am humbled and honored I was given an opportunity to represent the people of the 8th district specifically, and the citizens of Topeka in general,” Gray said in the statement. “I look forward to assisting in any way I can in moving Topeka forward.”
In the news release, Gray requested privacy regarding the specifics of his situation.
Gray is in his first term. He was elected in April 2011.
Gray is an active member of the Kansas Libertarian Party. He actually announced a run for the council's Dist. 7 seat in 2009, but withdrew when he became a top candidate to chair the state party. He also was the party's candidate for Governor in the 2010 election.
The council will launch an interview process to fill the vacancy. City spokesperson Suzie Gilbert said the exact timeline would likely be discussed at Tuesday's council meeting. The process was used in January to fill two vacancies created by members elected to different offices. Then-Dist. 2 councilman John Alcala moved to the Kansas House of Representatives, while Dist. 7 rep Bob Archer took a seat on the Shawnee Co. Commission.
Gray's departure means that, in the wake of April municipal elections, four of the council's nine seats will be held by newcomers. John Campos and Elaine Schwartz were ultimately elected to the Dist. 2 and 5 seats, while Michelle De La Isla begins her first term representing Dist. 5, replacing Larry Wolgast, who was elected mayor.
The following is a news release from the City of Topeka:
Council member Andrew Gray has notified City Manager Jim Colson he is resigning, effective at 5 p.m. today, citing personal health concerns and health concerns of an immediate family member.
Mr. Gray expressed his appreciation to the people of District 8 for their support and for allowing him to serve them. “I am humbled and honored I was given an opportunity to represent the people of the 8th district specifically, and the citizens of Topeka in general,” Gray said. “I look forward to assisting in any way I can in moving Topeka forward.”
Mr. Gray further expressed his confidence in the newly elected and returning governing body members, saying he trusts them to find a worthy replacement to fill the remainder of his term.
“Andrew has been a vital part of the governing body for the past two years,” Mayor Larry Wolgast said. “He has served with energy and passion, and he will be missed. On behalf of the City, we wish him our best.”
"Andrew has served the City with distinction and dedication, always keeping in mind the best interests of the people of this community," Colson said. "We wish him well in future endeavors."
Upon receipt of Mr. Gray's resignation, the City will move forward with filling the District 8 seat in accordance with municipal code. Dates for Council vacancy interviews will be released once confirmed.