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Beach Beacon
Eddie Lee withdraws from Madeira Beach mayor’s race
Lee said he wants to pursue his passion to help kids through Kiwanis
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MADEIRA BEACH – Citing a lack of passion for city government and a “desire to work to make the world a better place for kids,” Eddie Lee has decided to withdraw as a candidate for this city’s top office.

Lee, who has taken a leadership role in local Kiwanis Club activities, said on Jan. 30 that he sees that organization, and its mission of benefiting children, as the passion he wants to pursue “with whatever time I have left on this earth.”

His withdrawal from the mayoral contest leaves a two-person race between former commissioners Roger Koske and Patricia Shontz.

Lee said he arrived at his decision not to run after much soul searching, and a rediscovery of where his life work is.

“I decided that to lead the city at this time is not for Eddie Lee. My real passion is to be able to continue to work to change the world and make it better for kids,” he said.

Lee’s role with Kiwanis Clubs International has been significant and will likely expand in the future. He is a past president of the local club and intends to seek the office of state treasurer in 2009. If elected treasurer, Lee eventually would be appointed governor of the 11,000 member Florida Kiwanis organization.

Lee currently is president of the Kiwanis-affiliated Florida Miracle League, which builds baseball facilities for disabled children.

Serving as mayor cannot compare to the thrill of hearing the parent of a handicapped child telling how much their kid enjoyed playing in a Miracle League ball club, Lee said.

Lee and his brother Leon Lee will also soon become primary caregivers for their 88-year-old mother, another responsibility that weighed in on his mayoral decision.

“My life has changed and my responsibility to my family has changed,” he said.

Lee also mentioned a potential negative of becoming mayor. In his view, the city is gripped by competing special interests.

“They are not letting go,” he said.

He will remain heavily involved in an upcoming referendum vote to preserve the Snack Shack log cabin at Archibald Park. Lee initiated that drive and at one point made a Kiwanis-backed offer to rehabilitate the structure.

Lee did not rule out a future run for office, if circumstances change.

“I am not shutting the door on politics,” he said.

He declined to endorse either of the remaining mayoral candidates.

Revison:
Changed "Lee’s role with Kiwanis Clubs International has been significant and will likely expand in the coming days. He is a past president of the local club, and is in line to head the state Kiwanis organization and its 12,000 members in three years." to "Lee’s role with Kiwanis Clubs International has been significant and will likely expand in the future. He is a past president of the local club and intends to seek the office of state treasurer in 2009. If elected treasurer, Lee eventually would be appointed governor of the 11,000 member Florida Kiwanis organization."
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
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