For 16 years, the city of Hickory had one mayor.
"This city loved Rudy Wright," Cline says. "He had a lot of friends. Just a fine man and also a fine mayor."
Jeff Cline was one of Wright’s friends.
Wright was found dead in his home earlier this month of an apparent suicide. His family has suggested he suffered from mental illness and depression.
Cline, a Hickory native, will be the city's next mayor. He will serve the remainder of Wright’s term through this fall after being sworn in June 6.
Cline is in the insurance industry. WFAE's Marshall Terry met at his office to talk about his plans as mayor and how it feels to take over for Wright.