Home Elected Officials Wesley Wright Not Seeking Reelection For Commissioner. Keeping Other Options Open.

Wesley Wright Not Seeking Reelection For Commissioner. Keeping Other Options Open.

Commissioner Wesley Wright.

As the window for petitions opens and election season looms in November, Lakeland residents are beginning to speculate on who will be running for local office. Commissioner Wesley Wright, who is also the current Vice Mayor for Lakeland, confirmed he will not be seeking re-election for Lakeland Commissioner. Despite the 2018 term limits legislation, which caps elected officials to two terms, Wright’s first term, won through a narrow special election in May 2017, does not count towards this limit. However, Wright told Lakeland Currents that it doesn’t make sense to use up his last chance to serve in the same position he has held for the past seven years.

Wright moved to Lakeland in 2013 and he quickly integrated into the community, organizing successful events such as the first Lakeland Yard Sale, which continues to thrive a decade later. In 2015, his proactive approach earned him his first Lakeland Chamber Person of the Year award.

Throughout his time in office, Wright says he’s most proud of being an advocate for small businesses, education, upscale architectural design, roundabouts, and conservation. “I’m also very proud of my role in the development of The Lake District and the establishment of the Lakeland Preparatory High School facility as some of my most significant achievements,” he said. He also introduced Flock Safety Cameras to Lakeland, a system praised by local police for its effectiveness in fighting crime.

Brad Emerson, left, unloads food from Commissioner Wesley Wright at St. Paul’s UMC. LC File photo.

Wright’s vision for Lakeland’s future has been evident since 2018, when he discussed his ideas for a Lakeland 2040 Vision plan, which eventually led to the adoption of the P.U.L.S.E. comprehensive plan this year.

Another notable accomplishment is the creation of the Lakeland Arts Council (LAC), which has exceeded Wright’s expectations. The LAC successfully organized the first Lakeland Arts Festival and recently hosted a spectacular event featuring the Memphis Symphony Big Band at the Delta Blues Winery. Wright said after his term is up in November, he hopes to devote his extra time and energy to the LAC, believing it has limitless potential to enrich the community.

“There is so much more I can do for my community, but I have to be strategic about the parameters of elected office,” Wright said. “I have many ideas I have kept in my back pocket and will put out there into the universe in due time. But first, I need to finish my term and maybe accomplish a few more things with the Board of Commissioners.”

Two Lakeland Commissioner spots will be open this November with the other position currently held by Commissioner Jim Atkinson. Mr. Atkinson has not made an announcement of his plans for reelection at this time.