According to multiple reports, Mayor Mike Cunningham, who is in his first term as Mayor of Lakeland, will not seek reelection this fall. The election for Lakeland Mayor and two Commissioners is scheduled for November 8, 2022.
Lakeland Currents reached out to Mr. Cunningham seeking confirmation of his plans but did not receive any response to our inquiries. However, City Manager Shane Horn did confirm Mr. Cunningham would not seek reelection. “Yes, the Mayor has informed staff that he will not be seeking reelection this fall,” Mr. Horn said.
In 2018, Mr. Cunningham ran on a fiscal platform claiming there were Lakeland financial anomalies he had discovered. In a Lakeland Currents article dated March 10, 2020, it was reported the Mayor asked the State of Tennessee for a full forensic audit of Lakeland’s departments and entities, including the Lakeland School System. However, the director of communications for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, John Dunn, said there was never an open investigation into the City of Lakeland for any financial anomalies. Yearly audits of the city finances had been clean in the years before Mr. Cunningham’s election, as well as the years since his election.
So far, former Vice Mayor Josh Roman is the only candidate that has officially announced plans to seek the Lakeland Mayor’s seat. Candidates still have until later this summer to make official announcements.