Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced Sunday that he would not seek reelection, and that he would instead submit his candidacy for the Likud list for the Knesset elections in 2019.
Barkat will have served as the mayor of Israel's capital for ten years by the time municipal elections are held this October.
The mayor made the announcement in a video posted to his Facebook page.
"Sixteen years ago, I left all my business and dedicated myself to saving Jerusalem, the city I where I grew up and raised my family, at an annual salary of on shekel," Barkat said. "With the help of many partners, especially Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, we brought about a historic turnaround and put Jerusalem back on the road to growth, with the largest budget in the city's history."
"Now that Jerusalem is back on the right track, I won't run for a third term as mayor. I'll leave city hall at the end of my term, but I'll never leave Jerusalem.
"Now, I have decided to serve the State of Israel on a national level and to strengthen the Likud movement. which I believe in with all my heart and intend to seek the support of its members in the upcoming elections. My father always wished for myself and my brothers that we would serve the State of Israel without having to ask for anything in return. In every role that the public will impose on me, I will continue to serve for a shekel a year and will harness my experience and skills as a paratrooper officer, as a high-tech entrepreneur and as the leader of the most fascinating and complex city for the management of the citizens of Israel," he concluded.
Moshe Lion, who ran against Barkat in the 2013 elections, announced that he would run for the position of mayor a second time. "Five years ago, I decided to put my previous life aside, turned my efforts, abilities and talents into the best interests of Jerusalem, and invested my energies as a member of the city council."
In February, 2015, Barkat and his bodyguard tackled and subdued an Arab terrorist who had stabbed a Jewish civilian in Jerusalem.