DR: I was too complacent in my re-election bid for River Falls mayorAfter coasting to wins by roughly 2-1 margins in his past contested elections, River Falls Mayor Don “DR” Richards admitted Thursday, April 5, that, “I didn’t work hard enough to win this election.”
By: Phil Pfuehler, River Falls Journal
After coasting to wins by roughly 2-1 margins in his past contested elections, River Falls Mayor Don “DR” Richards admitted Thursday, April 5, that, “I didn’t work hard enough to win this election.”
Richards said “overconfidence and laziness” on his part proved to be a fatal mix in his unofficial 935-921 defeat in the April 3 election to political novice Dan Toland.
Toland’s victory as mayor is expected to be certified Monday morning, April 9, at City Hall.
Richards was self-critical about his campaigning for a fifth term as mayor.
“I didn’t go door-to-door, I didn’t pass out leaflets and I didn’t make phone calls,” he said.
Richards said he just figured he’d keep winning as he had in the past. Friends and acquaintances, he said, assured him of the same thing.
Reflecting on his four terms as mayor, the 79-year-old Richards said: “It’s been a good eight years. I’m deeply sad that I can’t continue.”
Richards, retired after many decades of teaching, was considered a very active mayor who put in long hours on the job.
Asked how he’ll fill his time, he said, “That’s a good question.”
But a hint came when he called Toland to congratulate him on the election win.
“I said I’d like to be appointed to a board or commission, especially the Plan Commission,” Richard said. “I’d like to keep my involvement in the community going. It’s been an absolute joy to be mayor and to be a spokesperson for this city.”
With City Council approval, mayors appoint citizens to positions on local boards and commissions.
For more Don Richards’ comments about local politics, please see the April 11 print edition of the River Falls Journal.