- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

RUSTON, La. (AP) - Ruston Mayor Dan Hollingsworth will not seek re-election this fall.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Daily Leader (https://bit.ly/1l1LL6X ) reports Hollingsworth said he announced his decision to give anyone who is considering running for the post enough time to prepare a campaign.

“I have loved being your mayor, and the work we have been able to accomplish over the past 15 years represents the most gratifying and fulfilling professional experience I have had,” said Hollingsworth, 79. “No one could have appreciated this opportunity more than I, nor have been more humbled by your support all these years. With that said, it is time for me to step down, spend more time with my wife, children and grandchildren and let someone else experience the genuine rewards of public service.”

Hollingsworth was elected mayor in 1998 and re-elected in 2002, 2006 and 2010. He pledged to spend the remaining nine months of his term “working as hard for Ruston’s future as I can.”

Under Hollingsworth’s tenure, Ruston has spent millions to upgrade its electrical and sewer systems. It has also modernized the police department facilities, undertaken a multi-phase downtown revitalization project and completed a $22 million service road and overpass project.

The city has also implemented a merit-based pay plan for employees and joined with the town of Farmerville and the Union and Lincoln parish police juries to find an alternative fresh-water source to the Sparta Aquifer.

The mayor’s decision leaves the race for the city’s top job wide open. So far, businessman and Lincoln Parish Police Juror Ronny Walker is the only announced candidate for the position. City Alderman Jim Pearce, who last fall said he was running, pulled out of the race in January.

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Information from: Ruston Daily Leader, https://www.rustonleader.com/

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