Deadline looms for would-be candidates

Time is quickly running out for those who have not yet decided whether or not to brave the upcoming elections cycle. Voters will be deciding a host of seats in various government agencies, including Port St. Lucie City Council, St. Lucie County Commission and St. Lucie School Board.

For those considering a run at the Port St. Lucie City Council, contact the City Clerk’s Office for the necessary paperwork. Those thinking about running for County Commission or School Board should contact the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Office.

The pre-qualification period starts June 4, the earliest potential candidates can pick up the paperwork they need to provide during the official Qualification Period. Qualifying starts at noon on June 18 and ends at noon June 22.

In Port St. Lucie, three seats on the council are up for election. The terms end in November, following the General Election on Nov. 6.

Those seats are currently held by Mayor Gregory Oravec, Vice Mayor Shannon Martin and Councilwoman Stephanie Morgan. All three have filed for re-election and only the District 3 seat held by Vice Mayor Martin is currently being challenged.

To run for City Council, candidates must pay a $25 qualifying fee and either pay 1 percent of the salary or provide signed petitions of 1 percent of the total registered voters.

If filing for the mayoral seat, 1 percent of the $48,422 salary would be $484.22. Council members’ salaries are $34,362; 1 percent would $343.62.

As for the petitions, 1 percent of the total registered voters would amount to approximately 1,206. There were 120,557 registered voters in the last election.

While council members represent different districts within the city and must reside in the district which they serve, they are elected city-wide in a nonpartisan election.

If Oravec and Morgan remain unopposed at the close of the qualifying period, they will be returned to their seats without the need of election.

The District 3 seat currently has three candidates – Martin, Fritz Alexandre, and Andriana C. Riera. If all three remain candidates by the end of qualifying, they will face off in the Primary Election in August.

If none receives a majority of the vote, the two with the most votes will face off again in the General Election in November.

All three seats up for grabs on the School Board are being contested. Incumbents Deborah Hawley, Donna Mills and Troy Ingersoll each have one challenger as of press time. The challengers, respectively, are Steven Allen, Mark Young and Felicia Bruce.

Like the City Council, the School Board is a nonpartisan race. If only two candidates seek the same seat, the election will be decided in the primary. However, if there are three or more candidates and none receives a majority, the top two vote-getters will move on to the general.

County Commission is different – it’s a partisan board. When two or more candidates of the same party affiliation qualify for the same seat, they will be voted on in the primary. But who will be allowed to vote depends on if there is anyone of a different political party also qualified.

Assuming there is no candidate of a different party and no write-in candidate, then the primary is open to all voters regardless of political affiliation and the election is decided in the primary.

However, if there is a candidate of a different party filed, then the primary is “closed” and voters can only choose among the candidates of their own political affiliation.

The winners of the primary will then face off in the general when residents can vote regardless of political party.

Two seats are up for election on the County Commission – District 2 and District 4.

The District 2 seat is currently held by Republican Anthony Bonna, who was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to fill the remainder of then-Commissioner Tod Mowery’s term.

District 4 is currently held by Commission Chair Frances “Frannie” Hutchinson, a Republican.

Both are being challenged. Hutchinson is facing one challenger as of press time, Democrat Helen Henderson.

Bonna is facing several challengers that include one Democrat, Sean Mitchell, and three Republicans, Bobby Hopkins, Daniel Kurek and James Taylor.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

City of Port St. Lucie City Clerk’s Office

  • Call: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., (772) 871-5157
  • Visit: http://www.cityofpsl.com/government/departments/city-clerk

 

Supervisor of Elections

  • Call: Judith Durogene, Candidate Coordinator, 772-462-1504
  • Visit: https://www.slcelections.com

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