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Press Release - Mayor Rusty Bailey Announces He Won't Seek Reelection




Dr. Cheryl-Marie Hansberger
Chief of Staff


Mayor Rusty Bailey Announces He Will Finish His Second Mayoral Term Strong, But Won’t Seek Reelection - Rounding Out 12 Years of Service to the City

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Mayor Rusty Bailey announced today that he will not seek a third term in the primary election to be held on March 3, 2020.  “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve my hometown as its 17th Mayor”, said Mayor Rusty Bailey.  “It is also bittersweet to leave a position that was a goal since my youth.”

First elected to the Riverside City Council in 2007, Rusty Bailey led Ward 3 through a variety of pivotal projects, including the relocation of the Marcy Branch Library and Parks Headquarters to a more robust and accessible facility in the center of the city and creating ongoing momentum for the revitalization of the Riverside Plaza. 

Since he stepped into the Mayoral role in 2012, the city has experienced significant economic growth through record low unemployment and commercial/residential vacancy rates, the relocation of the California Air Resources Board headquarters to Riverside, the designation of Riverside’s first Innovation District, and housing expansion at all affordability levels.  Interest in developing the city’s historic downtown, which research shows is a key factor for cities to survive recessions, has been unmatched.  In addition, the city has made unprecedented investments in public safety personnel and equipment.     

Mayor Bailey has also elevated the city’s stature, an investment that has contributed to a variety of wins. Most recently, this includes a multi-million direct allocation to Riverside in the state budget for homelessness, through his advocacy for Riverside in the Big City Mayors’ organization, the attraction of the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry, and the award of the Coolest CA City Award by the Air Resources Board. 

Perhaps Mayor Bailey’s largest legacy will be the innovative work he has done to bring our community together to proactively combat homelessness, resulting in outreach and enforcement efforts, coupled with housing expansion for those who are willing to accept services.  In December of 2018, Riverside opened the doors to the Grove Village, four barn-raised housing units coupled with strong community support provided by the Grove Community Church.  This project is being looked upon nationally as a model approach.  

Mayor Bailey has also had significant regional influence and statewide recognition. He represents Riverside on the boards for the Southern California Association of Governments, Riverside County Transportation Commission, Western Riverside Council of Governments, and the Riverside County Continuum of Care.  In addition, he was recognized by UCLA as the Public Servant of the Year (2019) and the Luskin School of Public Affairs’ Alumnus of the Year (2013), by We Tip as the Elected Official of the Year (2016) and the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce’s Civic Achievement Award (2019).

“I am grateful to my supporters and staff who have been faithful to me, my family and my pursuits all these years”, said Mayor Rusty Bailey. “It is time for me to return to a more private life with my family and contribute to the city in other ways.  The city is in a great position for another person to take the reins and I look forward to encouraging and watching Riverside continue the positive momentum for future generations to come.”

Mayor Bailey plans to continue public service and plans to work in the educational or nonprofit arena.