SOUTHAVEN, MS (abc24.com) - No more waiting and wondering. There's finally an answer for Southaven citizens questioning whether Mayor Greg Davis will run for re-election. The answer: no.
Davis tells abc24.com the decision to quit politics wasn't an easy one, calling it the toughest he's made in his life. He's spent 23 years in government service, the last 16 of those years as mayor.
"It's time for a new chapter for Greg Davis, not Mayor Davis," he says.
The career politician says the decision not to run for a fifth term as mayor is based purely on his family.
"What's in the best interest of my daughters," he says. "To be honest with you it is probably the over riding decision making factor. My partner, he didn't want me to run at all, so that also weighed in."
Davis has been heavily scrutinized for more than a year for his mismanagement of city money. He says the attention's taken a toll.
"It has to begin to wear and tear on them." Also on Southaven citizens. Many are breathing a sigh of relief.
"One resident said Christmas came early," says Linda Temple.
"Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody has to pay for their mistakes," adds Sherrye Daniels.
"He seemed like an okay mayor. He just got on the wrong track for a while," Dee Sluss says.
Davis is currently under three felony indictments. More are promised by state and federal investigators.
"With everything going on maybe this will slow down some of the turmoil. People know now where the city's headed," says alderman Ronnie Hale.
Davis says the controversy wasn't a factor in his decision.
"You always have your critics out there. Fortunately in 23 years of service I have never made a decision based on my critics."
He plans to stay in Southaven and has set goals for his last five months in office.
"Finance the senior adult building we've been talking about the last 6 months." And two major road projects.
Davis adds he hopes Southaven citizens remember him for the good, not the bad.
"Hopefully when they go back and look at tenure of 23 years, they'll find some good things we've done and focus on those."
So far three people have filed to run for mayor. More are expected to announce their campaigns between now and March. The city's primary election is in May. The general election is in June; whoever wins will take over for Davis in July.