BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — A member of Beckley Common Council announced his plans to run for mayor of Beckley.

Robert Dunlap represents Ward Three on the city’s Council but announced on Friday, October 6, 2023, that he will run for Mayor in May 2024. Dunlap said he wants to include more business owners and those who work in Beckley in the decision-making process, along with those who live in city limits.

“I know that my doors are always open, so I, that’s what I want people to understand,” Dunlap, who said he resides in Beckley but maintains residences at The Resort at Glade Springs in Daniels and Pittsburg, Penn., said.

“I don’t care if we’re talking about 9th Street, I don’t care if we’re talking about the folks who live on the county outskirts in Glade. I’m approachable to all the constituents to make Beckley a better place,” said Dunlap.

Dunlap said some who own businesses in city limits but reside outside of Beckley have told him they feel disenfranchised and unrepresented in decisions made by Council.

The City of Beckley is currently transforming to a city manager style of government, which means council members will make policy while the mayor is primarily the face of the city and holds a ceremonial role at meetings. Dunlap said his experience on Council, as a business owner and on committees, has given him experience on what Beckley needs.

Dunlap has served on the Beckley Human Rights Commission and Beckley Historic Landmarks Commission. He purchased and renovated the historic Beckley Newspaper building, which was dilapidated and slated for demolition, in the 300 block of Prince Street. The building now hosts commercial space and nicer apartments.

Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold did not immediately respond to a request for comment as of late Friday.