Covington alderman John Edwards announced Friday his plans to run for Covington mayor.
Pictured pulling a petition at the Tipton County Election Commission, he emphasized wanting citizens to have a choice in the city's day-to-day and business operations.
"I've seen a lot of things over the last few years and I'm concerned about the how the board's moving," he said. "I don't like the way we, as a board, operate, how we have less deliberation now. People aren't as open-minded when it comes to decisions."
Edwards said he was encouraged by several people to run against incumbent mayor Justin Hanson, who defeated incumbent mayor David Gordon in 2014.
Gordon is set to be Edwards' campaign treasurer. Lavelle Thompson will be his campaign manager.
From here, Edwards is required to have 25 signatures on his petition.
Today is the first day to pick up petitions. Hanson intends to run for re-election and held a campaign meet-and-greet event in March.
Edwards said he hopes they can run a "good, positive campaign" where the issues can be discussed.
In addition to community involvement, Edwards' focus is on unity.
"Over the last three years I've seen things in Covington I haven't seen in my lifetime," he said. "Purple and gold should be our main colors in the city."
He wants to make sure the city does a better job at fighting crime, embracing the strengths of its elected officials to move forward and include everyone.
"Certain people are shut out of the process. Everyone on the board was elected by the people and those people need to be represented."
Further, he said he would like to bring more jobs and businesses to Covington.
"I want Covington to be more attractive to families moving to our area so that we can once again be the largest population in Tipton County."
Edwards is a second-generation alderman who's represented District 1 since the 2005. His term is also up this year, so running for mayor means he'll be giving up his position as alderman regardless of the outcome of the election.
The qualifying deadline for municipal elections is noon on Aug. 16 and election day is Nov. 6.