Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup done after 12 yearsPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Tucsonans will elect a new mayor later this year.
Three-term mayor Bob Walkup announced Tuesday he's not a candidate for re-election. He made the announcement at his annual "State of the City" address at the Tucson Convention Center.
Walkup, in prepared remarks, said, "It has been a great joy to give these addresses and a great privilege to serve as your mayor. There is no greater satisfaction in life than serving one's community and working for the common good. But now Beth and I need to take care of our families and each other."
Attorney Jonathan Rothschild has indicated he will run for mayor in this year's election as a Democrat. Realtor Shaun McClusky has also announced his intention to run.
Walkup's announcement Tuesday could bring additional candidates into the political limelight.
Even Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik was unwilling to rule out a possible mayoral run.
Most praised Walkup's years of service, including the men who want to take his job.
"Mayor walkup has served the community well over the past years," said Mayoral candidate Shaun McClusky.
"Most important thing for today is to thank mayor walkup for his 12 years of service," said Mayoral candidate Jonathan Rothschild.
But they also say it was time to go and the decision was not surprising.
"I think the buzz was kind of out there," said Kozachik.
Walkup was a longtime engineer and executive with Rockwell International, Fairchild Republic and Hughes Aircraft. He's a graduate of Iowa State University.
He and his wife Beth have five children and six grandchildren.
Walkup has acted as a cheerleader for the city and city projects. He has worked to deflect criticism of Rio Nuevo and worked hard to tout the positive benefits of the city. Most recently, he was actively praising the response of Southwest Gas after thousands of their customers lost service on the coldest day in decades.
Later, it came out that the company had 24 hours notice the gas supply would not be adequate, but failed to notify customers. The company was also criticized for its inability to let customers know when service would be restored.
Among the things the mayor wants to work on before the end of his term are The expansion of his civility accord, More work on the tucson convention center and a possible convention center hotel.