KENNEWICK, Wash.--Mayor Rob Welch will not be running for re-election at the end of the year.
He made the announcement in front of the Benton County Justice Center earlier today.
Mayor Welch says he is leaving office to focus on a non-profit organization called Adults Protecting the Innocence of Children or APIC. He started APIC with his wife, Sarah. Together, they hope to change child predator laws across the country, keeping child molestors in prison.
Welch says what he'll miss the most about being mayor is helping the residents of Richland.
"The thing I'll miss the most about being the mayor is really the camaraderie that we share as a council and staff," says Welch. And the opportunities that I have almost everyday to go out and meet with citizens and find solutions to everyday issues that they have.
Right now, Welch's name is already on the ballot for next year. However, he is running unopposed. This means, unless there is an unexpected write-in candidate, Welch will be re-elected as mayor. If this happens, Richland City Council will vote as a board and elect a new mayor.