A mayor in Houston County has suddenly resigned. It’s a ‘shocker,’ official says.

Perry Mayor Jimmy Faircloth will step down after nine-and-a-half years as head of the Houston County city.

Faircloth’s last day in office will be May 31.

“I have enjoyed serving the citizens of Perry as Mayor for the last nine and one-half years,” Faircloth penned in a handwritten letter to city officials and residents of Perry. “I have also enjoyed working with each of you as we guided the city and planned for its continued success and growth.”

Faircloth told The Telegraph that the reason for his resignation is to focus more on his job at Central Georgia Technical College where he is assistant vice president of facilities and ancillary services. He said he didn’t take this decision lightly.

“I have been thinking about it for awhile and came to the conclusion that it would be in the best interest to step aside right now,” Faircloth said.

The 58-year-old said he’s most proud of the progress he’s made as mayor. It’s been a group effort that’s been led by the City Council, department heads and other employees.

Faircloth is in his third term as mayor. There have only been two mayors of Perry since 1989.

“We’re secure and sound financially, progressive in nature and have responded very well to various situations and have both short and long-term plans that will ensure that will continue both today and into the future,” Faircloth said.

A special election will be held to fill the remainder of his term that ends in 2021.

Councilman Randall Walker is the mayor pro tem so he will serve in Faircloth’s place until a new mayor is elected, Perry communications manager Ellen Palmer said.

City Councilman Riley Hunt described the announcement as a “shocker.”