A Fremont City Council candidate cited over the weekend for minor in possession issued an apology, and said the incident does not change who he is, or his goals as a city council member.
Michael D. Wilson, 20, is one of five people running for the Ward 1 city council seat currently held by Steve Navarrette, who is not seeking re-election.
Wilson and three other minors were cited by Fremont police at about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday for MIP after police responded to a loud party complaint in the 500 block of East 12th Street.
MIP is a misdemeanor.
“Technically,” Wilson said, “I did break the law, but I don’t think I committed any crime; I didn’t hurt anybody, I didn’t steal anything. I don’t think the difference between a 20-year-old having a beverage and a 21-year-old consuming a beverage is really any different.
“I don’t think that the things that I do within my private life should necessarily be thrown into the public, as I don’t think what I do on a Friday night with my friends should serve as any precursor to what I’ll do as a city councilman, or what I do as city council candidate. It has nothing to do with the plans I have to better the city,” he continued.
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“If people think it’s a big deal that a public official is going to go out and drink – 20 or 21 or however old – if that’s a large deal to them, then I think we ought to scrutinize every public official within the United States, because people do consume beverages.
“I understand that people probably look at me now a little bit different because I have an MIP,” Wilson said. “I’m not a different person, I’m the same guy that’s been running this race the whole time.”
“I will apologize to the city of Fremont for acting in this way, it was inappropriate. It doesn’t change who I am, but I will offer that apology and continue in the race the same way I was,” he said.
The Ward 1 race will be pared to two candidates at the May 13 primary election. The general election is Nov. 4.
Wilson, who turned 20 last week, has never run for public office before, but told the Tribune he wants to bring a new perspective to the council.
He has been active in the Student Senate at Midland University, where he is a full-time student majoring in political science and public relations. He is on track to graduate in 2016.