A young man poised to make a serious run for mayor of Gainesville is now unsure about his future plans after a costly oversight prematurely derailed his campaign.
Kevin Danz is not blaming anyone but himself for not writing in the name of his precinct on an affidavit he filed with the city to qualify as a candidate. He said it was his only omission, but it was all it took to disqualify him.
Danz made a last-ditch effort to right the wrong when he appeared Thursday before Superior Court Judge Andrew Fuller to argue his case. The judge denied his petition.
“The only thing I left out on my affidavit was my precinct name,” Danz told The Times on Friday. “I argued that question was answered by me putting my address on there because my precinct is determined by my address. But the judge ruled in favor of a direct wording of the law and that’s a valid argument.”
Prior to the court hearing, Danz thought about running as a write-in candidate, but discarded that idea. He said his full-time job would limit the extra amount of campaigning he’d have to put in as a write-in candidate. On top of that, he lost the non-refundable $831 qualifying fee he raised.
“Furthermore, I had to spend extra money to file the appeal out of my own pocket and it became a bit draining in realizing how many more funds it would be as a write-in candidate,” Danz said. “I decided it’s time to bow out.”
Despite the unfortunate misstep, the 22-year-old Danz said he sees a silver lining.
“One of the interesting things that I found is that when I talked to people all over town, they really liked the idea of me running,” Danz said. “It shows that people are more open to the idea of a young energetic candidate. I was really, really happy at seeing that in our city. I hope that continues to spur people, but most importantly I want people to take a more active role in their local government, get involved and vote.”
A graduate of Gainesville High School, Danz went on to get a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia. He majored in political science and international affairs. He works for the state as as a Medicaid eligibility specialist.
Danz said it’s too early to be thinking about future forays into politics.
“Four years away from mayor is a long time for things to change in my life,” he said. “As of right now, I have no intentions of running for anything.”