Flash: Movement Begins to Draft Shirley Dean for Mayor

Judith Scherr
Tuesday July 25, 2006

Shirley Dean’s name popped up late Friday on the City Clerk’s list of candidates who have taken out mayoral papers. 

The news, however, came as a surprise to Dean, who told the Daily Planet Monday evening: “I’m floored. I honestly know nothing about this.” 

The person who does know is Merrilee Mitchell, who took out papers for Dean. 

“In Oakland they drafted (Ron) Dellums and he came back and ran,” Mitchell said. “I think Shirley Dean has good character. I don’t want to live in Batesville.” 

The papers Mitchell took out in Dean’s stead were not formal nomination papers, but “signature-in-lieu” petitions. In order to avoid paying a $150 fee to file nomination papers, a candidate can collect 150 signatures. Signatures must be turned in to the City Clerk’s Office by 5 p.m. on Thursday, according to Acting City Clerk Sherry Kelly. 

Were Dean to run, she would have to sign nomination papers herself. 

The ex-Mayor said she won’t rule out a run. 

“I’ll have to find out more about this. I don’t want to offend anyone,” she said, acknowledging that she had told a would-be supporter that she would consider a run if 600 people signed on, a number she said she plucked out of the air. 

Bates defeated the incumbent Dean four years ago and is now running for a two-year term. Announced challengers include Zelda Bronstein, Zachary Running Wolf, Richard Berkeley and Christian Pecaut. 

The formal nomination period opened July 17 and closes Aug. 11. 


Richard Brenneman contributed to this report.