NEWARK -- Vice Mayor Ana Apodaca, a City Council member since 2005, has announced she will not seek re-election.

The two-term Newark councilwoman revealed her decision at a city meeting Thursday night, saying that recent "life-changing moments" have led her to reassess her priorities.

"It has been my complete honor to be a part of Newark's City Council and my privilege to be entrusted by our citizens to represent them," she said, reading from a written statement. "This has not been an easy decision."

The councilwoman's sister, Deborah Apodaca, died a year ago, and her father, Daniel Apodaca, died in May.

The loss of her family members played a major role in her decision, Apodaca said.

"Over the past two years ... these moments have caused me to reassess my life," she said. "I have given serious thought to how I prioritize my time with family, my civic responsibilities, my career and other commitments."

Voters elected Apodaca, now 41, to the City Council nearly nine years ago. She ran for mayor in 2011, capturing 33 percent of the vote and finishing second to Al Nagy. Her four council colleagues have voted her Vice Mayor each year since.

Apodaca's announcement will leave two of Newark's three November council races without an incumbent. Councilman Bob Marshall, who was appointed in 2012, also is not seeking re-election.

Mayor Al Nagy, who serves on the five-member council, said Friday he will run for a second term, but it will be different not having Apodaca there.


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"It leaves a big void on the council because of her knowledge, experience and the enthusiasm she has for the job," Nagy said. "She has put her heart and soul into this community for years."

Apodaca, a Kaiser Permanente employee, said she is most proud of helping pass Measure U, a utility users tax that filled Newark's budget gaps after the 2008 economic downturn.

She said she will remain active in the community through volunteer work after her term expires in December and would not rule out a return to public office.

"I'll have plenty of time to think about returning to politics," Apodaca said. "But at this time, I just can't make a four-year commitment."

Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-353-7011. Follow him at Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.