NEW ALBANY — Mark Seabrook has heard the rumors circulating around town about him having to drop out of the race for New Albany mayor due to his health. He has had to answer questions for the past month, reassuring people that he is all in and not going anywhere.
"I am running for mayor of New Albany and I am ready to go," he said Friday.
It's true that Seabrook, who is 67, has dealt with some health issues in the past month. He had a pacemaker put in and during his stay in the hospital, was told he needed to go on dialysis three days a week. While he admits he was discouraged about the prognosis at first, he says he has been "re-engergized" and feels better than he has for "a couple of years."
"At first that was very devastating to me," he said about having to go on dialysis. "I had a misconception of what that was. But without it, I wasn't going to be able to pursue my two favorite interests, which were playing with my grandkids and serving this community."
Seabrook, a Republican, is a former New Albany city councilman and Floyd County Commissioner. He is looking to unseat two-term Democrat incumbent Mayor Jeff Gahan in November. Neither candidate has ever lost an election. Dan Coffey, a five-term city councilman, also said Friday he still plans to run as an independent.
Seabrook said the fatigue he was feeling before the pacemaker and dialysis is now gone. He planned on doing some door-to-door campaigning Friday, and said he enjoys talking to voters and hearing their concerns.
"Everything is positive and they [doctors] have encouraged me that this is a normal thing with a lot of people," he said. "I am very comfortable with it and I want people who support me to know it's OK. There are a half a million people on dialysis and this won't affect any job I would do as mayor."
Seabrook said one of the issues he is running on is transparency with voters, which is why he wanted everyone to know about his diagnosis and treatment.
"There were a lot of rumors out there about it. People would ask me if I was on dialysis, so I am addressing it," he said. "I want the rumors to stop. It's not a rumor anymore. It's a fact and it's a positive fact, because it's given me a new source of energy that I didn't have. I know I can function as mayor.
"I am looking forward to the election. I am going to work very, very hard and listen, let people be contributors to their own fate."
Seabrook said there is no slowing down between now and Nov. 5.
"I am capable, willing and ready to go," he said.