CRESTVIEW — The field for next year’s race for mayor of Crestview just got a little bigger Tuesday.
City Council President J.B. Whitten announced his candidacy for mayor at the March 13 meeting of the Shoal River Republican Club. Whitten started the announcement by saying he would not seek re-election for city council, and then dropped the other shoe, announcing he would run for mayor.
“I had goals when I was on the city council; I’ve fulfilled those goals,” Whitten said. “The one goal I had, to change the form of city government, if I didn’t fulfill that goal then I don’t want to be in the city government in the legislative branch, because I don’t feel as though I can do what I need to do.”
Whitten referred to the upcoming referendum on the city government in August, where the city of Crestview will vote on whether to change the city’s charter and form of government.
If the city votes to move to a city manager form of government, which Whitten is in favor of, the mayor would have a reduced role in the city government.
“It’s a whole different role, but it’s a role that I think I could do very well based on my background,” Whitten said, referring to his background in psychology and counseling. “Those are the kind of things that mayors get out there and do.”
The municipal elections in Crestview are scheduled for March 2019, but Whitten chose to announce his candidacy a full year ahead of Election Day. He is entering the last year of his city council term, leaving his seat up for grabs in 2019.
“I feel like I’ve done what I need to do and I’m ready to move on,” Whitten said.