By Charlotte Aguilar
With nothing but a winter weather emergency on most minds the past week, the close of candidate filing for West University’s May’s municipal election got little attention — but the ballot is going to be a whopper, with 12 residents making a run for office.
The two-person race for mayor and 10 candidates seeking four council positions is a stark contract to two years ago when no incumbents ran, neither the mayoral or council candidates were challenged, and the election was just a formality. This time, everything is up for grabs, and the candidates are a mix of incumbents, former officeholders and total newcomers.
When filing closed Feb. 12, current Mayor Pro Tem and Councilmember Kevin Trautner and former Mayor Susan Sample had submitted the necessary paperwork and petitions to run for mayor, with incumbent Bob Higley opting not to run again. Filing for council were incumbents John Barnes, Lauri Lankford and Ed Sobash, former Councilmember Mardi Turner, and first-time candidates Rich Beck, Melanie Bell, Shannon Carroll, Mathew Mapram, John Montgomery and Sam Parikh.
Here’s how they’ll appear on the ballot, with positions drawn Thursday:
FOR CITY COUNCIL (choose four)
Early voting runs from April 19-27, with Election Day on May 1. Essentials will be following our tradition of full election coverage before early voting begins, and we’re planning a “virtual” town hall for a candidates’ forum, details to be announced. Initial candidates’ statements will appear in your next issue of Essentials Magazine.