From the CBS 8 Troy Newsroom-- Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford who has been in the mayor's seat for more than 30 years announced today that he will not be seeking another term.
Emotion filled Troy's City Hall when longtime Mayor Jimmy Lunsford announced he will not be seeking reelection this August.
While Lunsford told CBS 8 News he would be entering the race last fall, he says after much prayer, he's decided it's time to give up his seat.
"Thirty years that's a long time, and I have enjoyed the success of the people that have worked with me and for me," he says.
Since Lunsford was elected in 1985, the city's revenue has increased from $10 million to $57 million. Sales tax revenue has spiked, and the unemployment rate has dropped dramatically.
He's played a part in major projects like building a new library, a recreation center, a senior complex and an airport.
CBS 8 News Political Analyst Steve Flowers says no one will compare to Lunsford. He even goes as far to say he'll be the greatest mayor Troy ever has.
"You can't compare any mayor in Alabama to what he's done to this city, and he said this properly: he's left this city on top," Flowers says.
Some residents say they're devastated by the news.
"He has been doing a real good job, and I hate to see him go," says resident Willie Brown.
"Since I've been here, and I've been in Troy for about 13 years, he's been here, and all I have heard about is Mr. Lunsford. Jimmy Lunsford," says resident Simone Green.
Lunsford says he's had a good run, and it will be hard saying goodbye.
"I will always, always be proud of the privilege and pleasure of working with you," he says.
Lunsford says he will stay involved in the city once he retires in November, but he says one thing he's looking forward to is being able to spend more time with his grandchildren.
City councilman and longtime Lunsford friend Jason Reeves announced he will be running for mayor.
Lunsford says he still has no comment on Reeve's race and is remaining neutral, but he did say he would work with whoever is elected to make sure this city is left in good hands.
As of now, Reeves is the only person who's announced his candidacy for mayor. Qualifying is July 3.