Six candidates qualified for three seats on the Clermont City Council Friday.
Councilman Rick VanWagner was the first to file for the mayoral seat. In the process he effectively leaves Seat 5, his current spot, up for grabs.
In a previously published interview, VanWagner said “I am excited about this election. I feel Clermont needs someone to take it to the next level and I want to be that guy ... if we put both hands on the wheel, we can make this city economy robust.”
VanWagner will not face current mayor Hal Turville in the upcoming election, as Turville announced this week that he is not running. However, VanWagner will be facing former councilwoman Gail Ash.
“I’ve been here now for 12 years,” Ash said. “There’s so many changes taking place here I think it’s almost like a blank canvas, to see what the residents want or need in the city.”
The mayoral race will be decided on Nov. 4, during the general election.
Meanwhile, Tim Murry, Dr. Thomas Spencer and Dianne Travis are all seeking the seat currently held by VanWagner.
In a statement, Spencer said “I propose to not just serve as your representative, but even more importantly, to restore the bonds of trust between the people and their elected representatives.”
Travis said, “I’m very excited by the direction the city is going with the branding and all. I think I can help take it to the next level. I’m an athlete and a business owner, which is something I think the city can use. I’ve competed all over the world, and I’m ready to be part of the team.”
Murry was born and raised in Clermont and subsequently had a career in the Air Force.
“On retirement I decided it was time to get back to the city and help people out, because I remember when I was growing up there wasn’t much for the kids to do here,” Murry said. “I felt more can be done, and we need city officials who can get out in the community and relate to the community.”
The three Seat 5 candidates will face off in a primary election on Aug. 26. If none of them receive a majority of the votes, the two top vote-getters will square off during the November election.
Councilman Tim Bates (Seat 1) is running for re-election unopposed.