Torrance City Councilman Bill Applegate last week ended speculation that he would run for mayor next year by announcing that he will instead seek a third term on the council.
That leaves three-term Councilwoman Katy Geissert as the only announced mayoral candidate for the March 4 election.
Mayor Jim Armstrong is prohibited by the City Charter from seeking a third term. Councilman Mark Wirth's seat, along with those of Applegate and Geissert, will also be up for election. Wirth has announced that he will seek a second term.
Candidate filing opens Dec. 5 and closes Dec. 26.
City Hall watchers had long expected Applegate, who is generally supported by business, and Geissert, who has strong support from homeowner groups, to battle it out.
Some observers said Applegate decided not to run because he realized he could not beat Geissert.
But Applegate said he decided not to run for mayor because the additional time needed for the office would cut into his other civic and family activities.