Norfolk, Va. - Mayor Paul Fraim announced that he will not seek reelection in a press conference on Thursday.
Fraim made the announcement at the Slover Library at 10:30 a.m.
The Mayor said that he has spent 22 years as the Mayor of Norfolk, and that this is the right time for him to step aside.
He also said that while he wants to continue to be Mayor, he feels like it's time for someone else to lead.
"I know there's a younger generation that knows they're in a position to offer leadership. I understand that," Fraim said.
His most proud moments include: the ward system, which he says has allowed greater diversity, poverty reduction, and the Slover library.
Fraim says his biggest disappointment was being late in understanding the depth of poverty and not having a stronger regional network for decision making.
"I care so deeply about this city, it has been so good to me and my family," Fraim said. "But it doesn't belong to me. It really is time to let someone else take the leadership role."
Fraim says he is focusing on next nine months as his term comes to an end and he is confident that he will still have support of the Norfolk community.
The mayor's decision drew thanks from a one city councilman, Andy Protogyrou, who made an announcement of his own.
"I think that you will find that many of us are excited to thank him for what he did, but we`re excited to move forward and take this city to the next level," Protogyrou said.
When asked if he was running for Mayor, he said yes.
Andy Protogyrou joins Norfolk Sheriff Robert "Bobby" McCabe as the only two announced candidates so far for next spring's election.
But Protogyrou told NewsChannel 3 today he wants to meet with the sheriff, to ask McCabe to drop out of the race.
"I`m going to ask him to support me, sure," Protogyrou said. "I have the support of other constitutional officers in this race, and I am going to ask Bobby for his."
Fraim said he's considered this decision a long time. Normally, he makes election-year announcements in December, but he said he made this one months early to open up the race for new challengers.
Here is Fraim's official statement on the announcement: