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Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward isn’t likely to announce whether or not he’ll seek a third term as mayor until sometime early next year, Hayward told The Pulse Monday.

“My family and I will prayerfully consider our next steps of how we can best continue making Pensacola and northwest Florida the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” Hayward said Monday. “I anticipate we will announce that direction after the holidays.”

Hayward’s announcement — or lack thereof — comes after Escambia County commissioner Grover Robinson filed paperwork to run for mayor on Monday, confirming long-running speculation that he would seek the seat.

Robinson so far is the only declared candidate for an election that is still about 12 months away.

Robinson, 47, announced last year that he would not seek a fourth term on the Board of County Commissioners. At the time, Robinson said he had no immediate plans to run for another office, but left the door open.

“I don’t think I’m necessarily done with politics, if the right thing comes open,” Robinson said. “But I think it would be something that I would want to do, something that’s interesting.”

Hayward, 48, was elected in 2010 as Pensacola’s first “strong mayor” since voters adopted a new mayor-council form of government in a 2009 referendum. Under the new charter, mayors and city council members are limited to three four-year terms. Hayward is currently in the third year of his second term.

Pensacola’s next mayoral election is set for Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Should more than two candidates qualify to run, the election would be held on Tuesday, August 28; if no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters would proceed to a November 6 runoff.

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