WORCESTER, Mass. - Worcester city Councilor Khrystian King announced Thursday he is running for mayor.

At his campaign kickoff event, King said the same leadership that has been in place in Worcester for years is now failing. He mentioned rising housing costs, crime and mental health and not focusing enough on Worcester’s neighborhoods.

“I’ve come to understand that we’ve fallen short precisely because of a lack of intentional leadership in the office of the mayor,” King said. “It’s an honor, and I’m looking forward to being the next mayor of Worcester.”

Current Worcester Mayor Joe Petty has been in office since 2011 and announced his reelection campaign last week.

City council at-large candidates must opt-out later this year if they're not running for mayor. Right now, Guillermo Creamer, Jr. is the only other at-large candidate to declare he's running for the office.

King said he has dedicated his life to public service and mentoring youth throughout the city and he is running for mayor to make Worcester a safe, sustainable and affordable city. He is currently serving his fourth two-year term as city councilor at-large.