A change in politics for Columbia

Politics in Columbia is expected to change in a major way. In April 2010 the Capital City will elect a new mayor. But getting there could be an interesting journey. A complicated campaign could be on tap.

The time for change in Columbia is quickly approaching. The city will swear in a new mayor after current mayor, Bob Coble, decided not to seek re-election.

"It is tough to lead this city, it's like leading a gang of cats," said Political Consultant Bob Wislinski. "And I think Bob has put in good time, he made the decision that 20 years is enough."

Wislinski says Columbia can expect a few political punches in the race for the city's next mayor.

"This is going to be an opportunity for somebody and with that much at stake, I wouldn't be surprised if the gloves come off," said Wislinski.

"I think without question the mayor's race is going to be a heated, interesting race," said City Councilman Kirkman Finlay.

Finlay hasn't officially declared for the race, but he is considering the position. Finlay isn't giving a definitive answer about the position, once held by his father.

Perennial candidate and Columbia Businessman Joseph Azar has already entered the race. Along with Attorney Steve Benjamin.

"I can tell you what you can expect if I am in it," said Finlay. "It will be about facts, it will be a race that brings us together not divides us. And it's not going to be about political cheap tricks."

"I think a race, if it develops, will be one that engages the citizens and will have possibly the highest turnout," said Wislinski.

Bob Wislinski says it's a new day and a new time, which means a new way of campaigning.

Any potential candidate has until Midnight February 3rd to declare their run for Mayor in the 2010 race.