Borough Mayor Kassel Won't Seek Re-Election

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Karl Kassel announced today he will not seek a second term.
Kassel, whose term is up in 2018, made his announcement in a release this afternoon.
He says he's taking the unusual step of announcing he won't run for re-election next year to give other potential candidates plenty of time to get into the race.
Kassel beat state Representative Tammie Wilson in 2015 to take the top office in the borough.
His two years in office so far have seen a dual focus on cleaning up local air pollution, and trying to secure natural gas for area residents.
Under Kassel's term as mayor, the borough has also established local marijuana regulations and taxes, and created a long-sought central recycling facility.
His two years in office so far have also been marked by increased pressure on the borough budget because of state cuts to services, particularly K through 12 education.
Before serving as mayor, Kassel was a member of the Borough Assembly, and served for decades as director of the Department of Parks and Recreation.