CALDWELL — Former state Sen. John McGee on Friday declared his candidacy for seat 6 on Caldwell City Council, eight years after a fall from grace that led to his resignation from the state Senate. 

McGee told the Idaho Press he was encouraged to run for council by members of the Caldwell community.

"They said, 'John, it's time,'" he said.

McGee served as majority caucus chairman in the Idaho Senate before he was charged with DUI in June 2011. In 2012, he resigned amid a sexual harassment investigation by police; he later pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace for sexually harassing a 25-year-old female Senate staffer.

“In the past I’ve made some mistakes," McGee said in a campaign announcement Friday. "I’ve learned from these mistakes and will be a better public servant."

Caldwell City Councilwoman Shannon Ozuna and Sen. Patti Anne Lodge both endorsed McGee in the release.

“I served with John in the Idaho State Senate for 8 years," Lodge said in a prepared statement. "John will make an excellent member of the Caldwell City Council and will keep Caldwell heading in the right direction. I endorse him without reservation.” 

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After his resignation, McGee served as chairman of the Downtown Caldwell Organization, which has since become Destination Caldwell. He now serves as the vice chairman for Destination Caldwell's board of directors. Boise Rescue Mission in 2017 hired him as vice president of development; McGee is not currently listed among staff on the website.

If elected, McGee said he wants to focus on economic development, particularly the opportunities the city has with Indian Creek Plaza. He said he is proud to have played a part in the plaza's development through his work with Destination Caldwell. 

McGee is running against incumbent Councilman Chuck Stadick, who was elected to the council in 2015, and candidate Evangeline Beechler. 

McGee's DUI charge in 2011 came after he was found in the back seat of a stolen, crashed vehicle early in the morning. In court, his attorney told the judge there may be a medical explanation for the incident and claimed the charges were out of character for McGee, the Idaho Press previously reported. McGee pleaded guilty to the DUI, while the felony car-theft-related charge was dropped in a plea deal.

"Anyone who knows me knows how remorseful I was," McGee told the Idaho Press. 

McGee said he thinks the Caldwell community want to look to the future, and the residents who know him trust what he would bring to the table as a council member. He said the community wants to capitalize on the growth Caldwell is currently experience, and he believes he can help with that. 

"I think the public wants to move on," McGee said. 

Erin Bamer is the Nampa/Caldwell reporter. Contact her at 208-465-8193, or ebamer@idahopress.com. Follow on Twitter @ErinBamer. 

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