FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) – Florence Mayor Stephen Wukela will not seek a fourth term in 2020.
That was the announcement Wukela made Thursday while serving as a guest speaker at the Florence Chamber’s annual membership luncheon. He has served in that capacity since his first election in 2008.
"The decision is not born of a loss of my devotion to the City and its future interest; nor by a lack of gratitude for your many kindnesses,” Wukela said in his speech. “But l am hopeful that my choice is compatible with both devotion and gratitude."
From downtown and neighborhood redevelopment to improving diversity Wukela believes the once ghost town has become a thriving one.
“When you see people walking up North Dargan Street at 11 o’clock at night and there are people walking and talking and enjoying each other and coming out of their homes and coming out of restaurants that’s worth a lot of the work,” Wukela said.
He said he hopes the city will continue the work on building and maintaining the infrastructure like water and sewer to support the city’s growth.
The mayor urged the need for funding to repair city roads, which he said they currently don’t have a way to pay for it.
He also spoke on the importance of continuing diversity. He said the issue of race is the “single biggest threat” to the city’s future success.
“That work is never done and so we need to continue that and continue our growth and success." he said.
Filing for the office of Florence mayor opens in March 2020. A primary will be held in June, followed by a general election in November 2020.