COLUMBIA — Whether Mayor Darwin Hindman will seek re-election in April 2010 will be the subject of a news conference at 9 a.m. Thursday at his law office. Hindman is in the final year of a record fifth term as mayor of Columbia.
Hindman, 76, wouldn't say on Wednesday night what the announcement will be.
"I'll see you tomorrow," he said.
Fourth Ward Councilman Jerry Wade, who is in the final year of his first term on the council, for months has been mulling over a bid for mayor, but he said Wednesday that the mayor's announcement, either way, won't speed up his decision.
"Every decision I make, I want to make sure I've got the one that I'm comfortable with, that my family is comfortable with, and put the pieces in place," he said.
Wade said he'll announce his plans in mid-September.
Retired bank executive Bob Roper's name also has been brought up as a potential candidate for the mayor. Roper, who is also a columnist at the Columbia Daily Tribune, told that newspaper in February that he did not plan to seek the office. On Wednesday night, he told the Missourian that news of Hindman's news conference doesn't change anything.
"I'll give you this: It's highly unlikely that I would run for that office," Roper said. He wouldn't comment on whether he's considering any other offices. "This office is the only one I want to comment on."
Hindman was first elected in 1995. Among a slate of six candidates, he garnered more than 6,000 votes, while his closest competitor got fewer than 2,000. He has since been easily re-elected four times but faced two tough-minded challenges from neighborhood advocate John Clark in 2004 and 2007.
In his 14-plus years on the council, Hindman has made trails and other projects to promote walking and biking a priority. He has been a strong advocate for expanding the city's park system but also has overseen exponential growth and development.
Hindman has twice battled cancer. In 2003, he was treated for esophageal cancer and in 2006 for early stages of prostate cancer. His health has not been an issue in recent years, and the mayor is frequently seen riding around town on his bicycle.
An August announcement represents a departure for Hindman, who in the past has waited until late in the candidate filing season to go public with his intentions. In 2007, for example, he didn't announce his bid for re-election until Jan. 5. And in 2004, the news came on Jan. 9.
Thursday's news conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the offices of Hindman & Goldstein, 1203 W. Broadway.