Though the next municipal election is nearly a full year away, it appears the campaign will be a long one.
Republican city Councilor Ken Cockayne is expected to announce Monday that he will run for mayor next year, hoping to succeed three-term Democrat Art Ward.
Cockayne is expected to make his announcement at Monday's Republican Town Committee meeting, slated for 7 p.m. at the Board of Education auditorium.
Cockayne, who's been a council member since 2007, has made no secret of his ambition to run for mayor. By throwing his hat in the ring early he may be angling to preempt possible competitors from within his own party's ranks.
Ward has given no indication whether he will run for fourth term. Many Democrats are eyeing a possible run for the position even if Ward decides to see reelection, including former city Councilor Kevin McCauley, who said recently he is thinking about it.
Mayors serve two-year terms for a little less than $100,000 annually.