- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Vice Mayor Alex Finter has taken over as mayor of Mesa.

Finter took the oath of office Wednesday to replace Scott Smith, who is running for Arizona governor after six years as Mesa’s mayor.

The 53-year-old Finter has been vice mayor for the past 15 months.

He will be mayor until the winner of a special mayoral election can be certified.

That will occur in September or November, depending on whether Mesa needs a November runoff to fill the office.

The elected mayor will finish Smith’s term, which ends in January 2017.

Potential mayoral candidates have until April 28 to notify the city clerk and file statements of organization.

Former councilman John Giles has already announced that he’s running. He served on the Mesa City Council from 1996 to 2000.