By PE Politics
July 6, 2011 3:35 PM

It’s official. Riverside Ward 1 Councilman Mike Gardner is running for mayor next year.

After expressing an interest in the office, then disavowing it during his recent re-election campaign, Gardner on Tuesday filed a statement of intention to seek the mayor’s post.

He joins Ward 2 Councilman Andy Melendrez and former Councilman Ed Adkison, who announced their intentions last year. And another sitting official, Ward 3 Councilman William “Rusty” Bailey, has said he’s considering getting into the race.

Observers expect the field to get crowded since longtime Mayor Ron Loveridge has said he won’t seek another term.

Bailey and Gardner won their second four-year terms in June; Melendrez would have been up for re-election in 2013. Under the city charter, if a council seat becomes vacant the council would appoint someone to fill it.

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