Canton mayor won't seek a fourth term

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Mayor Richard D. Watkins, who has served in public life for nearly one-third of a century, said Monday that he won't seek election to a fourth four-year term this year.

Watkins, a 72-year-old Republican, made the announcement in a meeting with city officials. He didn't disclose his future plans.

Watkins (pictured, above) served six terms as Canton city councilman and two terms as Stark County commissioner before he was elected mayor in 1991.

The mayor's official biography lists accomplishments including creation of a free health clinic, improvement of downtown storefronts and increasing police and fire ranks to full authorized strength for the first time in 25 years.

In 1955, Watkins founded a private security company that is now operated by his son.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)