EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – After nearly three full terms, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke made the announcement that he will not be running for a fourth term. He has been in his third floor Civic Center office since 2012, but come 2024, there will be a new occupant. His announcement on Monday came as a surprise to many in the Tri-State.

“I’ll be honest, when I heard the news, I was a little shocked,” said Councilwoman Missy Mosby. “I thought that Mayor Winnecke would run for another term. So it’s really caught everyone off guard.”

“[I was] shocked,” said Councilman Justin Elpers. “I really thought he would be running for fourth term. And I think like a lot of people we thought he’d run for a fourth term and he’d win and he’s been a great ambassador for the city.”

Several city council members spoke highly about Mayor Winnecke’s time in office, saying they fully expected him to run for – and win – a fourth term.

“He’s done a great job this past 11 years,” said Councilman Jonathan Weaver. “It’s been great working beside him. Everything great that’s happening downtown and beyond.”

“My initial reaction was real proud of what the mayor has done in his history and honestly very excited for him and his next endeavors in his life and with Carol and his grandkids,” said Councilman Ben Trockman. “When somebody announces their retirement, I think it’s important to think about all the great things that they’ve done and the history that they’ve left behind. And although Lloyd Winnecke is a different party, that doesn’t matter. And this community, it’s about people – and Lloyd as a person has helped shape this community for quite a long time. So my initial reaction is happiness for him sadness for our community, but certainly an exciting time for local politics. Especially for others who might be interested in filling his position.”

The mayor’s announcement has now put an all new light on the 2023 city election – who will run for office? Vanderburgh County Commissioner Cheryl Musgrave announced that she will run on the Republican ticket. Councilwoman Missy Mosby said she isn’t interested and that she will seek another term as Second Ward Councilwoman. Councilmen Justin Elpers and Alex Burton both said they aren’t interested either.

“Up until this morning, I was still hopeful that it was going to be Mayor Winnecke,” said Councilman Ron Beane. “Now it’s time to review to see if that’s something I’d be interested in doing. My plan has been to run for city council at large. But this has come up now so I’ll have to rethink that through.”

“You know, I’m at a point in my life where there’s just so much going on,” said Councilman Weaver. “Now my kids are into soccer, swimming, baseball, basketball and it’s almost get to a point where my time is winding down I think. I’ve been involved with this for 15 of my 22 years living here in Evansville. I’m having a great time doing it. I’m honored when people come up to me at the Y or wherever and say ‘hey you should run for mayor’ and stuff. So that’s been happening a little bit more here recently. But you know, I think at this point in time, I’ll just probably stay on the city council and maybe look at something like 2024 after that and see what happens.”

“I think there are a number of really wonderful local people that could be a great leader,” added Councilman Trockman. “I think we’ll all be asking ourselves as local politicians and local leaders if we’re interested, I’ll certainly be asking myself that question. But who knows, interested to learn about what everybody else does as well. There will certainly be some some good conversation in the coming weeks. Lloyd leaves behind an incredible legacy. And so we as a community need to rally behind someone really incredible. I have no doubt that that will find someone but right now I think it’s most important is to celebrate the successes of our friend Lloyd.”