Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson filed, for the last time, to run for reelection Tuesday morning at the Warren County Clerk’s Office.
If he wins in November, Wilkerson will tie the mark for the most total years as mayor in the city’s history. He already holds the mark for most consecutive years as mayor.
No one has yet filed to run against Wilkerson, Bowling Green’s mayor since 2011. The filing deadline is June 2.
Wilkerson said he decided to run for a final four-year term – the mayoral seat is limited to three terms – to continue what he sees as progress the city is making.
“It has been my focus all along the last eight years to make sure the city is financially stable while still moving forward,” he said, pointing to the city’s rare trifecta of having accredited police, fire and public works departments, as well as things like reducing the city’s debt load while slightly decreasing taxes at the same time.
As for priorities if reelected: “We have to keep growing” the tax base that allows for spending on things like parks, sidewalks and other infrastructure, he said.
Wilkerson, a former Bowling Green police officer, was first elected as a Bowling Green city commissioner in 2006 and was reelected to that seat in 2008 and 2010.
In 2011, then-Mayor Elaine Walker was appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear to serve as Kentucky secretary of state. Wilkerson then beat fellow commissioner Joe Denning in 2011 in a special election to serve a one-year term as mayor.
He ran unopposed for reelection in 2012 and 2016, other than a write-in challenger in 2016.
“I hope it’s shown people are satisfied with the direction of city government,” Wilkerson said of the lack of challengers for the seat.
Wilkerson already holds the record for consecutive years as mayor at nine. John H. Mallory served non-consecutive terms as Bowling Green mayor three times in the late 1800s and early 1900s for a total of 13 years – a mark Wilkerson would tie if he wins reelection.
Also on November’s ballot is an election for the four city commission seats. So far, incumbent Sue Parrigin and former city commissioner Rick Williams are the only ones who have signed up for that race.