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Rapid City mayor will not run for office again

Charles Michael Ray

Rapid City voters will elect a new mayor next year, as current Mayor Steve Allender has announced he will not seek reelection for another term.

Allender began his career in 1983 working for the Belle Fourche Police Department. In 1985, he moved to Rapid City, and eventually earned the title of police chief before becoming mayor.

Allender said he’s considering priorities as he prepares for his next step.

“It does seem to be a big job, especially when I’m on the outskirts of town at night and I can look and see all the lights and how far the city extends and how far it's grown since I started working in Rapid City in the mid-1980s," Allender said. "Generally speaking, governments struggle with setting priorities, so I’m going to take with me some of the positive experiences I’ve had. The positive comments, the support.”

Allender said he doesn’t think of himself as a politician.

“This is the best job I’ve ever hated the last couple of years, you know? So, yeah, I feel like I’ve always only been a public servant, and that’s why some people get so irritated with me,” Allender said.

Allender said he doesn’t plan to seek another office.

“Everyone’s best advice is ‘oh you should run for this, or you should run for that.’ Well, they’re not running for it," Allender said. "There’s a lot of people out here who seem concerned about it, and I think it's time for them to step up and put their name on a ballot. As far as what’s in my future, I don’t know.”

Allender said he plans to “enjoy some time” once he leaves office.

Earlier this year, Ward 1 Council member Ron Weifenbach announced his intention to run for mayor next year.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture