Escambia County commissioner Grover Robinson on Monday filed paperwork to run for mayor of Pensacola, confirming long-running speculation that he would seek the seat.
Robinson 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.”
Robinson said at the time that the mayoral job “certainly has appeal” but said he would look to supporters before making such a decision.
“But again, it’s not up to me to figure that out,” he said. “If it was there, and there was an opportunity, and people wanted me to serve, I’m not saying that I would say no.”
Robinson has served as a county commissioner since 2006 and has proven popular with voters, winning some 70% of the vote in his most recent reelection campaign in 2014.
Hayward 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.