COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Columbia native and former FBI Analyst Larry Sypolt has officially announced his candidacy for Mayor.
Sypolt has 15 years of law enforcement and business experience. He says he has witnessed local crime and gang violence first hand and is ready to address the issues.
"The biggest thing I want to do is to combine Columbia and Richland County as one police force," said Sypolt.
His platform will include plans for restructuring the police department in order to more effectively utilize budgets and manpower, implementation of mentoring programs for youth and young adults who have entered the judicial system, business development for areas like Five Points, and neighborhood preservation and beautification projects.
Mayoral candidates have until August to register for the race.
Currently City Councilman Moe Baddourah and Larry Sypolt are currently Mayor Steve Benjamin's only challengers.