Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd said Wednesday that she had not yet decided whether to run for a third term.
Speaking to reporters after she gave the keynote address at the Cooper's Ferry Partnership's annual meeting – the theme was "Camden ... City of Promise" — the mayor said making the decision is “definitely” difficult.
“My heart has always been for Camden,” said Redd, who was born and raised in the city. “This journey in politics was always about Camden. It wasn't about establishing a career for myself. It was to give back.”
Asked when she expected to make her choice, the mayor, 48, a former New Jersey legislator and longtime Democrat, cited only the April 3 filing deadline for city candidates. She also declined to say what sort of job or role she might pursue if she were to opt out of the race.
Redd was orphaned as a little girl and has long been a private person. She has been similarly guarded about her political future; when a Philly Voice reporter inquired this month whether she would seek a third term, the mayor provided an upbeat statement that revealed little about her intentions.
“I am extremely proud of the work my administration has done these past seven years to change the perception of Camden as the poster child of doom and despair to a symbol of hope, resurgence and resilience,” Redd's statement said.
"Yet with all of our successes thus far, there are still many important projects and initiatives that require my full attention at the present time.”
Redd made no mention of her intentions to the several hundred people who gathered at the Adventure Aquarium for Wednesday's celebratory affair on a downtown waterfront where construction recently started on American Water's corporate headquarters.
At the opposite edge of downtown, construction is under way on Subaru of America's corporate headquarters. Other projects are under development.
“Camden is experiencing tremendous positive growth in every sector,” Redd said at the aquarium.
Unlike in past years, however, the mayor – a Cooper's Ferry board member – did not use the annual meeting to deliver a “State of the City” address.
Redd said she would do so next Thursday at Rutgers-Camden.