Gahanna Mayor Tom Kneeland has announced he won't seek re-election after all.

Gahanna Mayor Tom Kneeland has announced he won't seek re-election after all.

After meeting the Feb. 6 filing deadline to run for re-election in the May primary, the 66-year-old incumbent decided he won't seek a second term.

"Over the past week, I have given a lot of thought to my decision to seek re-election as mayor of Gahanna," Kneeland said.

"After many hours of serious consideration, I have decided to not run for a second term but to retire next year so that I can spend quality time with my family and friends and look at the city through a different lens."

As mayor, Kneeland said, he's pleased, humbled and overwhelmed at the progress the city has made over the past few years .

"For the past 25 years, I have proudly served the citizens of Gahanna, from my leadership roles on city council to my position as mayor these last four years," he said.

"I sincerely appreciate the support I have received from our residents and business community."

Although Gahanna has faced some serious challenges, Kneeland said, he's optimistic about the city's future.

"Over the next several months, I look forward to continuing to work with our residents, businesses and community partners to make progress on our 2019 goals and plan for our future to help move our city forward and build on our successes," he said.

Kneeland was elected mayor in November 2015, defeating Joe Gergley.

He was the first new mayor in 14 years.

Becky Stinchcomb won her third full-term as mayor in November 2011 over challenger Jim McGregor. She decided not seek re-election in 2015.

Kneeland was council president when he sought the mayor's post.

At that time, he was finishing the council term to which he was appointed in September 2013, when David Samuel resigned.

Kneeland was chosen from 13 candidates who had applied for the position.

Before being elected mayor in 2015, he had worked as Whitehall's technology director since 2012.

He previously served as Gahanna's technology director from January 2011 to October 2012.

Kneeland began his political career in 1992 as Ward 1 council representative, a seat he held until 2001.

After five terms as a Ward 1 council member, Kneeland took a short absence to finalize retirement from then SBC, the local telephone company, where he was a transport technical-support manager and engineer working with high-capacity fiber-optic networks and digital transmission systems.

Kneeland returned to the political arena in late 2003 to run for office as an at-large council member, and he served two terms.

He served on council 17 years before resigning in 2011.

Kneeland stepped down from his at-large council seat to accept the city's position of information-technology director in early 2011.

Three other candidates who filed for the Gahanna mayor's race by the 4 p.m. deadline Feb. 6, are Laurie Jadwin, 1222 Pond Hollow Lane; Ryan Jolley, 225 W. Johnstown Road; and Stephen Renner, 740 Quaker Ridge Court, according to the Franklin County Board of Elections.

Jadwin, 56, has worked as the executive director of the Gahanna Visitors and Convention Bureau since 2013.

Jolley, 36, works in the Gahanna Department of Public Service and Engineering. He is a former Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools school board member and Gahanna City Council member.

Renner, 52, is director of the Franklin County Department of Sanitary Engineering and he's a member of Gahanna City Council, serving Ward 1.

The top two vote-getters in May will face off in the November election.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla