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Exclusive: Castle Recasts [Spoiler Alert]!

Castle has elected a new mayor.

Damages‘ Derek Webster is taking over the role of Robert Weldon, the show’s (fictional) New York City Mayor, sources confirm to TVLine exclusively.

He replaces General Hospital grad Joseph C. Phillips, who previously played the Big Apple’s top politico in two Season 1 episodes.

The role will be beefed up considerably under Webster (who also starred in the short-lived Fox drama Mental). For starters, producers are mining the character’s pivotal backstory — namely his longstanding friendship with Castle (Nathan Fillion) — in a major way.

As you know, it was Weldon’s political clout that allowed Castle to partner up with Beckett in the first place. But when a woman is found dead in a car that traces back to the Mayor’s motor pool, that partnership comes under fire as the scandal surrounding the investigation threatens to bring down Weldon’s administration.

Webster’s term in office is slated to begin in early ’12.