SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) — The mayor of Springfield has retired after 35 years of service to the city.

According to a release from the city of Springfield, Mayor Warren Copeland earlier this year announced his plans to retire after the completion of this term, but on Nov. 8, Copeland retired early to focus on his health and family.

“Retiring early will allow me to focus on my health and family. I will be forever indebted to this community and to the citizens of Springfield, who entrusted me to serve as Mayor for many years. As this chapter of my life closes, I know the next chapter will still see me involved in the community I love so dearly,” said Copeland in a letter to the city commission.

Copeland served on the Springfield City Commission and was mayor at various times throughout his career beginning in 1988. In 2003, Copeland became the first person directly elected mayor of the city since 1914. He was reelected for four additional terms.

“We are grateful that Warren has dedicated so much of his life to our community, not just in his role as Mayor, but also as an involved citizen committed to creating a better future for generations of Springfielders,” said City Manager Bryan Heck.

On Nov. 14, Assistant Mayor Rob Rue will be sworn in to fill the remainder of Copeland’s term.

To fill Rue’s vacated position, the city will be taking applications from interested candidates. The city commission will have 30 days to fill the seat.