Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

City Race Already Drawing a Crowd | Three Candidates File to Fill Seat Vacated by Jacqueline Moore

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

City Race Already Drawing a Crowd | Three Candidates File to Fill Seat Vacated by Jacqueline Moore

Article excerpt

NORTH PORT

NORTH PORT -- Three candidates have filed for the City Commission seat being vacated by Mayor Jacqueline Moore, even though commissioners have not decided when they will hold a special election to replace her.Talks on when to hold the election for Seat 4 went nowhere at the last commission meeting. Following that, Moore called a public, special meeting for 9 a.m. today.

Commissioners will have the chance to vote once more on whether to hold the special election concurrent with this fall's regularly scheduled elections.

They'll also discuss, but not vote on, holding a special primary election on March 14 and special general election on May 9.

Pursuing that option means the city would be without a full commission for six months. It would also allow for any candidate on the ballot in this fall's elections to run again should they fail. Seat 4 will not be tied to geographical districting requirements until the 2018 election.

Seat 4 will become vacant on Nov. 8. Moore is resigning two years into her four-year term so she can run for re-election this fall in District 2, where she lives. Whoever is elected in the special election will hold Seat 4 until the 2018 election.

Last week, commissioners considered holding the special election concurrent with the Nov. 8 general election, but a majority of commissioners could not reach a consensus on when to hold the special election.

Setting the election concurrent with the November general election would save the city $60,000 to $70,000, but some commissioners expressed concern that the qualifying date of this Friday was not enough time for seat 4 candidates to prepare.

Nevertheless, three candidates are already filing to run: Pete Emrich, Sam George and Howard Bearse.

Emrich, 54, said his former 20-year career with the city has prepared him to serve on the commission. He was the city's landscape manager for 17 years before North Port fired him in 2013. Emrich said he wants to cut back on wasteful spending by city staff. …

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