TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Tallahassee City Commissioner Gil Ziffer's dropping out of the 2018 mayoral race could clear the path for an easier win for one of the other two men in the running.
Gil Ziffer was the only one running who had some name recognition and political experience.
Now, for the time being, the playing field has been leveled for the other two men eyeing Tallahassee's top spot.
Joe West, a candidate for Tallahassee mayor: "I don't have to know how to run a city. That's the city manager's job."
West says he never wanted to be a politician.
He's a Vietnam veteran and, like his fellow candidate Erik David, he's never run for office before.
West and David are the only two running for Tallahassee mayor now that City Commissioner Gil Ziffer is dropping out.
West thinks that's a good thing.
"I've known Gil for 10 years, I think Gil's a good man," West said. "But I really think everyone who's on our City Commission really needs to go away from politics. We just have had too many problems, too many negative things. We need people that are not interested in making a long-term career out of politics."
Now it appears Ziffer doesn't want to be involved in Tallahassee politics at all.
He filed paperwork to run for mayor last September, hoping to replace current Mayor Andrew Gillum, who's running for governor.
Now Ziffer says he won't even run for City Commission again.
Instead, he wants to focus on his role as president of the Florida League of Cities and spend time with his family.
However, Ziffer does have someone in mind to replace him in the race, State Sen. Bill Montford.
WTXL reached out to Montford to see if he plans to run but hasn't heard back from him yet.
The deadline to qualify by petition to run for Tallahassee mayor is May 21.
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