Longboat election heats up

Associate Publisher

Working too hard is something the Town Clerk’s office already has to contend with, but in the upcoming 2018 election season, the office will be working overtime.

The reason is there appears to be not only two contested elections, but most likely two preliminary elections as well. Preliminary elections are held when there are three or more candidates who have qualified to run for a particular seat. And the deadline for additional candidates to qualify is Nov. 20 before 12 noon.

This is the way the March election breaks down to date. Four seats are on the ballot, and two of the four seats are contested.

One of the potential contested races is in the District 5 seat with incumbent Vice Mayor Ed Zunz who has qualified to run in the March election, and James Harwood who has filed his initial paperwork, but has yet to complete the qualification process.

One of the other contested seats is in the At-Large District currently occupied by Commissioner Irwin Pastor. Pastor has qualified to run for the At-Large seat this week as well as two other residents: Planning and Zoning Board member and Chair BJ Bishop and Jack Wilson. This three-way race will require a preliminary election.

Also most likely turning into a three-way race is the District 3 seat, which is now occupied by Mayor Terry Gans who is term-limited out. The District 3 seat currently has two individuals qualified and running for the vacancy. One of them is Vice Chair of the Planning and Zoning Board Ken Schneier and resident John Weber, a retired Insurance Adjuster and director and president of the Islander Club. And according to the Town Clerk’s office, a likely third contender, Ross Hughes, has also filed most of his paperwork but has yet to finish the qualification process. If Hughes finishes the qualification process, the District 3 seat will also require a preliminary election.

Lastly, in District 1, incumbent Randy Clair has qualified and remains unopposed.

Town Clerk Trish Granger says the preliminary election will take place Tuesday, Jan. 23, with early voting for the preliminary on  Jan. 16 through Jan. 19.

The two candidates from each district seat who have the most votes will continue to the March election for the final vote.

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