Ward 5 Alderman Jerry Dalgo decided Thursday not to run for re-election after 16 years on the job.
He was under a tight deadline to let officials know whether his name should appear on the ballot. City elections are this spring and summer.
Dalgo asked the Sun Herald to get the word out because the deadline to qualify is 5 p.m. Friday.
“I want people to know that tomorrow is the last day, if you ever thought about running for office,” he said Thursday afternoon. “The incumbent is sitting out for this term. You have until 5 p.m. Friday to decide if you want to be a public servant.”
Qualifying consists of picking up the paperwork at City Hall, declaring the party you will run under and paying a small fee.
In a written explanation, he said the reason he is removing his name from the race is that “in all likelihood, I will be moving out of Ward 5 in the next year.”
He said if he won re-election and then had to vacate the office, the city would have to hold a special election, “which would inconvenience my constituents and waste taxpayer dollars.
“I have enjoyed my 16 years of public service in this position and I hope that in the future I’ll have the opportunity to serve the city of Ocean Springs again.”
He has one opponent who has qualified. Robert Blackman, a former employee in the city’s Building Department, now works for an engineering firm and wants the Ward 5 seat.
Dalgo said he has had people tell him through the years they would like to run for the job if he were not running.
He was hoping they would read about his decision at SunHerald.com or in Friday morning’s paper and qualify.
“If they don’t know about it, they won’t know to qualify,” he said.
At least one other longtime Ocean Springs alderman, Matt McDonnell, has said he will not run for re-election after 24 years on the board.
Sun Herald reporter Mary Perez contributed to this report.