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Bob Worthington to Run for Gulfport Mayor

Previous council member and lifelong resident Bob Worthington wants to be Gulfport's next mayor. The election is in 2013.

Bob Worthington, a former city councilor and volunteer firefighter, cofirmed that he will seek the mayor's post in 2013.

Worthington is eyeing a high-profile job that Mayor Mike Yakes has held on to for 22 years.

"The mayor and I have been friends forever, since we were young'n's," Worthington said. "I think he's a phenomenal person, but I believe it's time for some changes."

Yakes said it is too early for him to decide his re-election plans. The mayoral election will be in March 2013. For now, Yakes said that he is focused on city business.

The two men have known each other since childhood. Worthington, a lifelong resident, said that he believes his experience in local politics, as a first responder and as manager of the Gulfport Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) has prepared him to lead the city as its next mayor.

Worthington said that he believes it's time for new leadership. Worthington wants to unify the Council and see it work well as a team.

“I don’t believe that’s something that’s being encouraged right now. I believe that I am a team builder and I think that you start with the team that sits on council."

Worthington doesn't plan on stopping there. He wants to bring city departments together to work through the tough economic times.

"The senior center, library, each group, Chamber of Commerce, each area, you have so many different teams, working as individual teams, but not as one big team.”

If elected, he hopes to bring the departments together and use his leadership abilities and decades of experience to achieve those goals.

Worthington served six years on Gulfport City Council as the Ward 3 representative. He did not seek reelection in 2010 and decided to focus his attention on expanding the CERT program.

CERT has about 20 active members and has trained at least 80 people about emergency response, trauma, CPR certification and more. Last year, the group received a 2001 Freightliner wheel coach box truck to be used as a rehab truck for emergency situations. Worthington says the group has been able to repair the truck at no cost to the city. He says one of the goals of CERT is to fund itself through donations and fundraisers, and he's proud of that.

“We’ve taken no money from the city budget.”

He says the greatest asset in Gulfport is its people. By working together, citizens and leaders can come up with revenue generating ideas, beneficial community programs and expansion of the successful programs already in place.

“The budget is certainly something that we can’t tax our way out of the current budget problems, it’s going to have to be economic growth in the entire community and nation that will get us out of us this,” Worthington said.

Candidacy Declared

Worthington declared his candidacy for Mayor on Wednesday, May 2. He turned in the necessary paperwork to the Gulfport City Clerk to become a declared candidate. The mayor serves a three-year term.

To become a declared candidate, a person must first turn in the "Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository for Candidates” information.

To then qualify as a candidate, people must turn in the required qualifying paperwork and fees between Monday, Dec. 3, after 8:30 a.m., and Monday, Dec. 10, by noon.

Will Mayor Mike Yakes run again?

"I’m not indecisive, I just haven’t made that decision yet,” Yakes said.

Mayor Yakes says he has plenty of time to file in December if he chooses to run again. He says many community members have encouraged him to do so, but for now he wants to focus on the issues at hand.

"My main mission, as I'm in office now, is to continue the momentum of cohesion and bridging the distance that exists in the community, (bringing) people together, that's what I'm about," Yakes said.

Yakes has been Gulfport's mayor for more than 20 years. He served as a council member from 1986 to 1990 and has been Mayor of Gulfport since 1990. Mayor Yakes ran unopposed in the 2010 municipal election.

Yakes says the enthusiasm of the community has kept him involved and energized about the city.

"I myself as an individual have not been successful without the support of the community. I am a people person. I believe in Government for the people by the people. . . I support the majority of the people and I make sure that I reach out and gather all the information I can from everyone I can," Yakes said.

Douglas Hudson May 21, 2012 at 05:52 PM
There Mayor has told me on several occasions over tthe past year that there is absolutely NO CHANCE that he will seek reelection. When pressed on the issue, he told me that he had given his word to his family that he would retire after the current term. I wish Bob all the best in his campaign.
Mr. Fish May 21, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Well those of us who have lived in Gulfport for some time, have seen Mayor Yakes tell us absolutely that he will not seek re-election before deciding that he could not let anyone else run the city. SO we will see!
mtober May 22, 2012 at 12:51 AM
The Mayor also told me, in the very recent past, that he was not seeking re-election. Jim, you are correct - we will see. Seems the Mayor has said alot of things recently and then done exactly the opposite, so I will not be surprised if this is not yet another Yakes fable. ;-)
Nancy Kelley May 22, 2012 at 10:16 AM
Bob Worthington is more than capable of being an excellent Mayor for Gulfport. He is Honest, hardworking, dedicated , and a straight shooter. I would put his yard sign right next to my Obama yard sign anytime.
Frank Verdino May 24, 2012 at 12:21 AM
MTober and Nancy Kelley out of the gate early. Nice to see the Hastings crowd has a new champion in Bob Worhtington.
Frank Verdino May 24, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Sorry, didn't mean to leave you out Doug.
jo May 24, 2012 at 12:15 PM
And the other crowd has no problem barrowing and stealing from the Hastings crowd!
jo May 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Oh, and let's not forget how the other crowd slanders and lies about Hastings. Didn't mean to LEAVE ANYBODY OUT!
mtober May 27, 2012 at 05:21 PM
@Frank Verdino - Not sure how you took from my comment that I am supportive of Mr. Worthington's candidacy. My comment was in response to Gym's comment relative the Mayor's comments regarding him being indecisive. I have posted my thoughts on Mr. Worthington's candidacy on other pages, perhaps you missed it. See next post . ================================================================
mtober May 27, 2012 at 05:23 PM
@Frank.>>>>From Gulfport Watchdogs: "I like Bob very much as a person, I respect him and have no doubt about his affinity for Gulfport. However, I don't believe we need more of the old guard, good old boy network running the City. That has been going on far too long. We need .to continue to build a leadership team that has fresh ideas , is forward thinking and can think outside of the box. I also agree with Bob Usher- not a good indication if Bob W was against outsourcing dispatch. As to the Mayor--he volunteered to me, several months ago that he was not going to seek re-election. I understand he has told others the same. However, we also know that the Mayor has a proclivity for saying/promising one thing and then doing another. Because of that and some of his business dealings I no longer have any respect for the Mayor. He's a nice, personable guy, and I've known him a long time and went to school with his sisters, but he has been in office way too long. When you really think about what he has brought forth and accomplished - there is nothing there. It has all been by others. He throws out ideas, spends taxpayer money on trips to DC and yet there is no follow thru and no end product."
jo May 27, 2012 at 09:35 PM
I think Frank Verdino should run for mayor, how about that?
Nancy Kelley May 28, 2012 at 10:46 AM
I have always considered coming out of the gate early for Honesty, integrity, fairness, and a self less love of Gulfport that is what I see in Bob Worthington. That is what I saw in David Hastings, Barbara Banno and Jennifer Salmon. Frank Verdino how about your choice? Other than Sarcasm.
liz February 13, 2013 at 07:32 AM
I don't care who is mayor, all I want is a speed bump on 53rd St so, people go soo fast In front of my house, or put. Policemen here.they would lots of money.

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