At the end of her State of the City address tonight, Mayor Terry Bellamy announced she won't seek re-election, instead running for Rep. Patrick McHenry's 10th district congressional seat once again in 2014.
"Often it's been asked about the future of the city and my part in it," Bellamy said. "I'm really proud to say that I'm not running for re-election, I am seeking another office in congress. What I am leaving is a legacy of partnership, a willingness to work with others, to stand for what's right."
Bellamy was first elected to Council in 1999 and became mayor in 2005.
Talking to reporters after the announcement, she said that she decided not to run for mayor again because "I've done everything I've wanted to do" citing jobs coming to the area, better relations with the county and low unemployment. She has not decided who to endorse for mayor yet. So far, Vice Mayor Esther Manheimer and the city's former risk manager John Miall have declared they'll run.
Bellamy also ran for the congressional seat last year, but was defeated in the Democratic primary by then-state Rep. Patsy Keever, who was defeated by McHenry. Asked if his margin of victory deterred her, she replied "nothing deters me."
During the speech, Bellamy also asked Ashevilleans to write state legislators opposing a forced transfer of the water system for MSD.
"We want to continue to have local control over this local resource," she said.
Much of the address focused on economic development, including a video about companies like Linamar and New Belgium that have decided to move to the area due to incentives and partnerships between local government and private business. Bellamy also spoke about continuing the development of downtown in the South Slope area, better communication with neighborhoods, and working with the Asheville Police Department to deal with new homeless coming into the area.