By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 15, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — A third candidate has now filed to run for Tallahassee mayor in 2018.
Vietnam Veteran Joe West filed his paperwork with the Leon County Supervisor of Elections Office Wednesday morning. West has served as the President of Vets Events Tally as well as worked as a stand up comedian. He also owned a small wood refinishing and painting business.
"I've never pictured myself as a politician, anybody that knows me doesn't picture me as a politician. But, somebody's got to change the direction that things are going because what we've got now is not working,” said West.
West has recently criticized the City Commission because of what he calls “unethical” behavior, including a vote to approve paid administrative leave for City Manager Rick Fernandez during an ongoing ethics investigation by the state.
Among some of his goals are establishing term limits for all elected city officials, returning to the previous policy of a rotating mayor and requiring commissioners to live within the district they represent. He also said he’ll ensure that no unethical practices when offering jobs or contracts.
“I’m an honest person, I’ve been clean and sober for 20 years,” said West. “I learned how to say, 'I don’t know,' which politicians don’t do well. I’ve also learned to say, ‘I was wrong and I’m sorry,’ which politicians don’t do at all.”
“I try to understand what’s going on and many times my mind has changed from where I was at to what I’ve learned. All of those things make me much different from anyone else that’s in the political arena,” said West.
West has also expressed that he would support someone else if he felt they were more suited for the position and held the ethical and moral standards that he shares. However, right now he said “I don’t see any other options.”
Commissioner Gil Ziffer has also filed to run, as well as candidate Erik David.
Bob Lotane originally filed for Mayor but has since changed his paperwork, instead running for Commission City Seat Five.