The longest-serving member of the Texas Senate, Democrat State Sen. John Whitmire (Houston), announced that he is running for mayor of the City of Houston in 2023 while at a campaign event for his re-election to the Senate on Wednesday.

β€œI’m no longer considering it; we’re not asking people. We’re running for mayor, and we intend to win,” said Whitmire.

Whitmire indicated that he intends to serve through one more legislative session, through 2023, before officially running for the mayoral position.

He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1973 and then the Senate in 1983. He has been chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee every legislative session since 2003, having previously served as its chairman sporadically beforehand.

Whitmire boasts about $11 million in his campaign account, which would almost assuredly make him an intimidating opponent to any would-be challengers for the position.

The current Houston mayor is Democrat Sylvester Turner, a former Texas House lawmaker himself. He was first elected as mayor in 2016 and will reach his term limit in January of 2024.