TEMPLE (March 10, 2013)--The City of Temple has seen its fair share of surprises this year when it comes to its mayoral office.
In January, longtime Mayor Bill Jones III announced that he was resigning effective May 2013.
Jones will be leaving with one year left in his term, leaving council members to call for a special election to be held in May to replace him.
For 38-year-old Temple resident Lamar Collins, the news was an opportunity waiting to be seized.
Collins placed his bid for office, and says he's more than qualified to be Temple's next mayor.
Collins is an Army veteran, the former director of Temple's Chamber of Commerce, and is currently a teacher at Temple Independent School District.
He's only the third African American to run for mayor in the city in Temple's 130-year history.
R. D. Brown was the first black to run for mayor in Temple.
He was a candidate in 1986, 1988 and 1992.
Robert Martin ran as a write-in candidate in 1988, as well.
"It's important not to vote for me because I am African-American," Collins said.
"It's important to vote because voting is important. This has given me a great opportunity to educate people on the importance of both national and local elections."
Temple's Mayor Pro-Tem Danny Dunn will be Collins' only opposition in May.
Dunn sent News 10 a statement regarding the upcoming election:
"I congratulate Mr. Collins on his candidacy. I look forward to the upcoming campaign and the opportunity to discuss issues involving our city."
The election is on May 11.