WILKES-BARRE — Bruce Simpson’s three-week campaign for mayor has come to an end.
Citing an inability to find a treasurer and pressure from online commenters to unveil key details of his platform two years before the election, the 60-year-old Democrat announced his departure from the race via a post on the Wilkes-Barre Crime Watch Coalition’s Facebook page.
“Hello all: I am withdrawing from the race for Wilkes-Barre Mayor. I wish you all good luck and best wishes for a safer city,” he wrote Wednesday afternoon.
In an interview with The Times Leader, Simpson said he was having trouble finding a treasurer to serve on his campaign team.
“We really need to start collecting money now,” said Simpson, adding that without a treasurer he can’t even file paperwork to receive political donations.
Simpson, a former police officer who also worked as a magistrate and federal administrator, launched his 2015 mayoral bid Aug. 27 on a platform of beefing up law-and-order in the city. His decision to end the bid, he said, came amid flak from people posting to Facebook and other sites that he should formally lay out his crime-reduction plan now.
“I’m not going to reveal all the details of my plan, no, not two years before the election,” Simpson said.
He took aim at those he said complain about the state of the city in such forums, yet failed to come forward to help his campaign “and actually get involved.”
Simpson unsuccessfully ran for Luzerne County Council in 2011, placing 22nd out of 33 candidates for 11 seats and failing to reach the general election.
He later served briefly on the county’s new ethics commission, resigning from the post in April 2012 after a procedural dispute with fellow commission member and county Controller Walter Griffith during development of an ethics code.