This story was updated at 3:37 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020.
As the new year began, Chattanooga District 5 City Councilman Russell Gilbert appeared to indicate he'll run for city mayor in 2021.
In a public post and subsequent story on Facebook, Gilbert, who has represented Bonny Oaks, Dalewood, Eastgate, Woodmore and Lake Hills on the council since 2008, wrote "Happy New Year 2020 #Mayor2021."
The post includes an image of Gilbert with the words "In the midst of the darkness the light will shine," as well as an emblem of his name and a smaller logo that reads "Chattanooga Caring Beyond."
Gilbert's message comes 14 months before the March 2021 election, which will determine who will take two-term Mayor Andy Berke's seat.
While Gilbert is the first council member to indicate he may seek the position, rumors have circulated about several of his colleagues running, including District 3 Councilman Ken Smith, who was exploring but did not confirm a 2021 run in 2017.
With over a year until the election, two community members — Small business consultant Monty Bruell and private executive agent Andrew McLaren — have publicly announced their candidacies.
Gilbert did not respond to multiple phone calls Wednesday morning to confirm or comment on the posts.
Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6416. Follow her on Twitter @sarahgtaylor.