CAMDEN, N.J. (WPVI) --In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Camden Mayor Dana Redd announced she will not seek re-election.
Mayor Redd says Camden is a city of hope and promise. She says when she took the job eight years ago, her goal was to make the city safer and better.
"From the first moment I raised my hand to take the oath of office, I started tackling, again, what many thought was impossible and impractical. My journey began with assembling a dynamic team of dedicated public servants, who like me, had no hidden agenda or self-serving agenda. We all just wanted nothing more, other than to see Camden succeed," said Mayor Redd.
She's been in charge since 2010, but Mayor Redd says after two terms, it's time for a change.
A Camden native, Mayor Redd knew the challenges she was facing when she ran for office. For years, Camden ranked as one of the most dangerous and poorest cities. But under her leadership, the city has seen a reduction in crime, improvement in education test scores and an economic boom. Those close to the mayor, like City Council President Frank Moran, say the city has seen tremendous progress while Redd has been mayor.
"Prior to the seven-and-a-half years that she has been in office, we have gone from the first of the worst to role model city. We are being looked at all over the country as a role model city of what you can do," said Moran.
Mayor Redd was at the helm, when the city dissolved its police force because it couldn't afford to hire more officers. According to the city, that move lead to more police patrolling, which resulted in safer streets. Many say her leadership is connected to her passion for a city she not only governs, but one she grew up in.
"One of her great talents is that she's able to work with people and compel people to want to do more, not only for the city, but for the residents of the city. She is born and raised in this city, she is a Camden girl, and she loves this city with all her heart," said Camden County Freeholder Jeffery Nash.
It's not clear what Mayor Redd's next role will be, but she says she will be spending more time with her family.
Action News has also learned she will be endorsing City Council President Frank Moran as the city's next mayor.
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