Filing just minutes before Friday’s deadline, Pensacola City Councilman Brian Spencer became the sixth and final candidate in the race to be Pensacola’s next mayor.
Two-term Mayor Ashton Hayward announced earlier this year he would not seek reelection.
“Pensacola has always been my home,” said Spencer. “And my decision to seek the office of mayor reflects my passion and dedication to our city and my steadfast commitment to the citizens and diverse neighborhoods of Pensacola.”
Spencer was an early supporter of the 2010 “strong mayor” city charter. His wife Crystal, an attorney, chaired the city’s Charter Review Commission which developed it.
A graduate of Duke University and the Tulane School of Architecture, Spencer works as an architect and entrepreneur. In a statement, Spencer called himself “a lifelong area resident who has earned a reputation for creating and inspiring new uses for deteriorating and underutilized buildings.” Spencer said he has leveraged his education and experience to introduce vibrancy and economic vitality into formerly declining or underappreciated neighborhoods and streets of Pensacola.
He also called himself “an avid proponent for seeking out, learning from, and implementing key elements that are present in successful cities.”
During his eight-year tenure on the city council, which includes a year as council president, Spencer said he has helped promote downtown and waterfront redevelopment and has “vigorously pursued solutions for addressing some of Pensacola’s most pressing challenges.”
Spencer said he is eager to collaborate with the City Council to “optimize the positive opportunities it engenders.”
“I have a deep respect for my colleagues who serve on City Council and know we’ll succeed through a shared focus,” Spencer said.
Spencer also believes it’s crucial to dedicate time to engage with and support city staff.
“My goal is to put in the sweat equity required to be available to council members and city staff when they need me,” Spencer said.
Spencer says a top priority will be advocating for local neighborhoods, which he said were some of Pensacola’s greatest assets.
“I support the guardianship of our local neighborhoods and am in lock-step with the citizens who work hard to protect, sustain and revitalize them,” Spencer said, noting that his past record reflects the importance he places on best practices that inject economic stability and safety, while maintaining the unique culture, authenticity and character that define area neighborhoods.
Spencer faces Drew Buchanan, Jonathan Garrett Green, David Mayo, Lawrence Powell, and Grover Robinson in the August 28 primary election.