EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – A surprising name could be entering the race to become Evansville’s mayor in 2023. The Vanderburgh County Elections Office confirms that Assistant Police Chief Phil Smith has filed to organize an exploratory committee as he considers a run for office.

Smith’s filing was submitted on August 31, where documents show he wants to gather information for a potential run for public office. While indicating a run on the Democratic party, Smith says he is not speaking on this candidacy until a firm decision has been made.

Smith did tell Eyewitness News he has not decided yes or no about becoming a candidate for Evansville mayor, saying he wants to weigh all scenarios before coming to a final decision, which he says will occur sooner rather than later.

Should Assistant Chief Smith join the race, he would become the third candidate to announce their intentions to become the next mayor, following Vanderburgh County Commissioner Cheryl Musgrave, and Gabe Whitley, who reacted to Smith’s filing by expressing his respect for the Assistant Chief, stating that Smith puts Evansville first. Whitley also says he believes the 2023 election will be great for Evansville residents, and wishes Smith the best of luck should he indeed run for mayor in 2023.

Eyewitness News also reached out to Commissioner Musgrave for her reaction to Smith’s mayoral interest, however she declined to comment.