DES MOINES, Iowa — Mayor Cownie announced Thursday morning that he will not seek another term as mayor of Des Moines.

The deadline to register for local elections in Iowa ends at 5 p.m. Thursday, giving little time left for new candidates to get on the ballot.

So far there are three candidates that have declared and already started their mayoral campaigns, Connie Boesen, Josh Mendelbaum, and Denver Foote.

Jaime Fitzgerald, the Polk County Auditor and Election Commissioner, said that candidates who declare early have an advantage.

“Anytime a big election comes up, whether it’s running for mayor or wards, you get a lot of people that are interested. A lot of people like to wait and see who else is running. In Des Moines, we’ve had a lot of candidates hitting the ground running. I know at least two of the mayoral candidates are door-knocking almost every day. And so to have somebody else come out on the outside and say I’m going to throw my hat in at the very end they’ll have the exact same amount of time to campaign. But some of these campaigns have already hit the ground running had fundraisers and been meeting voters at their homes,” Fitzgerald said.

Candidates in Des Moines need 75 signatures to file to be put on the ballot.