By Amy Kent
Herald Staff Writer
CAMANCHE — Camanche City Councilman Gary Kampe has announced that he will not defend his seat for the upcoming Camanche City Council election in November.
Kampe has already filed his nomination papers for the election but he made the announcement Monday that he would not be running for re-election, citing health concerns as his reason for stepping down.
“I suffer from diabetes and I’ve been having problems with the upper right hand part of my heart,” Kampe said. “The doctors suggested that I stay away from stress so, this might help.”
Although he is choosing to step away from the council, Kampe hopes he can continue supporting the growth of Camanche through other outlets.
“I’ve got roughly 30 to 35 years of being active with the city of Camanche and I will continue to be around to help,” Kampe said. “The Park and Rec committee has asked me to step up so that’s a possibility. Small committees like that, that don’t carry such heavy issues will be better for me. It’s just time that I get out of the stressful end of things.”
Over the course of those 30 years, Kampe has served on the city council several times totaling about 10 years, seven of which were served consecutively.
Since moving to Camanche in 1965, it has been one of Kampe’s life goals to see the city prosper and by working with the council, he had the opportunity to be a part of that.
“My wife and I moved here in ‘65 and I’ll be danged if I ever move anywhere else,” Kampe said. “I love this town.”
The passion he feels for his town is one reason Kampe has had a successful career on the council, and why people have continued to support him in the past.
He said that although he hasn’t been able to please every citizen of Camanche, he has gotten his fair share of gratitude over the course of his 10 years in office.
“I’m very thankful for the support the community’s given me in the past,” Kampe said. “I don’t know if I’ve always pleased everybody but I’ve gotten quite a few thank yous over the years.”
It has been a tough decision for Kampe to make, but one he said he feels is necessary for his future and his family’s future.
“Having to get out of the council really hurts my heart,” Kampe said. “But, there comes a time when you have to realize that your health and your family are more important.”