McGowan Places Third in Race for City Council, Keeps Options Open for 2024

McGowan Places Third in Race for City Council, Keeps Options Open for 2024

Nick Bumgardner, Editor-in-Chief, Online Tritonian

Primary elections were held for the Green Bay City Council on Tuesday, and among the candidates vying for a spot in April’s general election was a familiar face: NDA learning resource specialist Cassidy McGowan.

As a political science graduate from Marquette University, running for District 2 of the City Council fulfilled a life-long dream of his to run for public office.

“This is something I’ve had on my bucket list and something I wanted to do for the longest time,” McGowan said.

“I thought this was a great time. I’m not getting any younger. I turn 40 here in a few months…,” he continued.

He fell just short of qualifying for the April general election, finishing in third place out of four candidates and needing just over 100 more votes to move on.

“I decided to run because I think, although Green Bay is the 21st most desirable place to live in America (US News and World Report), over the past couple of years there has been an increase in challenges and issues facing the city, from infrastructure. My wife and I are paying more in property taxes than we ever have before, even to the increase in crime that we’re seeing,” McGowan explained.

He branded himself as a political “outsider,” being a career educator and coach.

“Right now in America, we’re kind of in a little ‘Dark Age’ or ‘Valley,’ with our political discourse especially.  Neighbors aren’t talking to each other, and it’s become pretty polarized, especially at the federal level between conservatives and Democrats,” McGowan said.

On January 7, McGowan garnered the necessary number of signatures to appear on the ballot.

Between then and election day, he, his wife and father knocked on doors, printed flyers and placed yard signs across the district.

In total, his campaign was able to knock on 95% of the households in District 2 and post 50 residential yard signs.

“We met wonderful people. That was the highlight of the last month, just talking. It revitalized my positivity in humanity. People are just wonderful. So that was awesome,” McGowan remarked.

“I really appreciate those conversations…I’ve met hundreds if not thousands of folks that live in District 2. It was cold. Many invited me in. Many wanted to talk about the Packers, some wanted to talk about political issues, but they are just really good people. I can’t stress that enough…that put so much wind in my sails,” he continued.

As the results rolled in Tuesday night, McGowan was sure this would be his one and only foray into politics, having lost the race.

However, after taking time to think it over and seeing an outpouring of support from voters, friends and family, and local politicians, he’s decided to keep his options open. 

“As much as I thought…this was a flash in the pan, ‘I’m not going to do this again’…I’ve had so many people reaching out to me, neighbors, retirees, families that live in District 2, friends and family, that said ‘Now that you’ve got your feet wet, please don’t hang it up yet. Consider running again in two years.’” 

So, will he run again?

As of now, McGowan explained he is “highly considering” a rematch in District 2 in 2024, but is leaving his options open at the moment.

While declining to endorse any of his opponents publicly in the upcoming general election, McGowan’s solid showing for a political newcomer had candidates clambering for his support.

In addition, several sources close to the City Council congratulated him for his strong showing at the League of Women Voters Forum.

“I had people reach out and say ‘You got the bronze medal’ because I was third. ‘You’re on the podium.’ Other people were texting me saying ‘Hey, just remember,’ because I am a basketball fan, a Bucks fan, ‘Michael Jordan got cut from his freshman team in high school. He came back better than ever.’ Getting text messages like that is pretty motivating for the future to keep this door open and not shut it like I thought I was going to,” McGowan said.

The future is wide open for McGowan, and as far as his political career, all eyes are on 2024.