Lakeland mayor-elect: New high school can be built when time is right

Lakeland mayor-elect: New high school can be built when time is right

LAKELAND, TN (WMC) - A tight race in Lakeland ended with a new mayor, and it could change the timeline for a new high school.

The race came down to the difference of roughly 300 votes.

Tuesday night’s mayoral race now casts doubts about the future of a new school in Lakeland.

After more than five years of serving as mayor of Lakeland, incumbent Mayor Wyatt Bunker was unseated by Mike Cunningham.

For his first run for office, Cunningham said he ran as a citizen, not a politician.

“I want to bring a great business mindset the city and run our city as a business as opposed to what could be a political win for a future career because I have none, above and beyond what I am doing for my own city,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham’s win begins the shift of power on the Lakeland Board of Commissioners.

As it stands now, commissioners in favor of building a new high school have the majority but results for the future of the commission are not final.

“I think that the school was the actual issue on the ballot this time,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham said he’s not opposed to the building of a new school, but he said it must be done when the time is right and Lakeland has the money to afford it.

“We have to come together and work as a city to where we can figure out how we can afford to build a high school and do what’s in the best interest of our children,” Cunningham said.

Mayor Bunker declined to make a statement on camera, saying he wanted to wait until the tight race on open commissioner seats is finalized.

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