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After coming up a mere three votes short in the 2007 general election, longtime Berne city council representative and local businessman Bill McKean has once again announced his intention to run for mayor in that city.
McKean, a Republican, seeks to fill the void left when current Mayor John Minch completes his second and final term in office at the end of 2011. Minch, who defeated McKean by a razor-thin margin in the November general election four years ago, has said he will not seek a third term. Despite coming up just three votes short in that 2007 mayoral contest, McKean opted not to seek a recount following the balloting.
A longtime barber in Berne, McKean said Monday he will officially file the necessary campaign paperwork in the coming days, joining the entire Republican delegation from Berne in doing so.
"After losing a close election four years ago, many people have asked me if I would run again," McKean said in his campaign announcement. "The Republican party has encouraged me, and I have decided this time that I am going to run."
McKean served for 24 years on the Berne City Council, and was council president for 16 of those years. "During that time I worked with four mayors and had the opportunity to work with both Republican and Democrat majorities," he said. "I also served on the Berne Plan Commission for 27 years."
Although McKean plans to continue to work in his barbershop, he will cut his hours in half if elected "to give the necessary time to the office" of mayor.
"I didn't really know if I was going to run again, but just in case, I've received minutes of the council meetings for the last four years to keep in touch with the city," McKean said in his statement. "I really feel like I am one of the best candidates because of all of my involvements with the city. As I near retirement, I feel this is a way I can serve the city.
McKean is married to Linda (Reusser) McKean. The couple has three children — Craig (Erin) McKean, April (Leo) Spagnola, and Jill (Rod) Stutzman — and seven grandchildren.
He is a member of the First Mennonite Church, a former officer of the South Adams Athletic Booster Club, and a current board member at the Hope Clinic.
McKean is a military veteran, having served in Vietnam.