2020 County Commission races attract 3 more contenders

Two more candidates have filed to replace outgoing Indian River County Commission Chairman Bob Solari, bringing the total number of contenders for that seat to three, and one candidate has filed to run for the seat now occupied by Commissioner Tim Zorc.

Vero Beach City Councilwoman Laura Moss and barrier island real estate appraiser Steve Boyle – both Republicans – put in their papers with the Indian River Supervisor of Elections to run for the District 5 seat being vacated by Solari.

Solari earlier this month announced his plan to retire in 2020, when he completes his third term, and endorsed Indian River Shores Vice Mayor Bob Auwaerter to replace him. Auwaerter declared his candidacy for Solari’s seat on the commission at a joint news conference with the departing commissioner.

Moss announced her intentions shortly afterward, deciding to make a run for the seat because she sees the move as a “natural transition,” she said. Moss, who is serving her second term on the Vero Beach City Council, said she’s well versed in issues facing county residents since she serves on several advisory boards to the commission and is regularly out pounding the pavement and meeting with constituents in the city and county to learn their concerns.

Two things Moss would like to tackle if she’s elected are how land is developed and water quality.

“I try to be the person I’d want to vote for,” Moss said.

Moss and Auwaerter’s competitor Boyle wants to help create more business opportunities and high paying jobs for college graduates, focus on being fiscally responsible and cure the ailing Indian River Lagoon of pollution, the political newcomer said.

“One of my main concerns is bringing the health of the Indian River back before it’s too late,” said Boyle, who founded the local real estate appraisal firm Boyle and Drake in the 1990s.

Meanwhile, a lone candidate has filed to run for the commission’s District 3 seat currently occupied by Commissioner Tim Zorc, who is serving his second term in office. Vero Beach native Joseph Earman, a retired Indian River County Fire Rescue captain, says in his candidate biography on the Supervisor of Elections website that he will protect the area’s “fragile environment” if elected in 2020.

“I vow to be a strong leader. One who listens and makes your concerns my priority,” Earman wrote. “I am a fiscally conservative Republican who feels [being] elected to office should be a service, not a career. Government has a duty, a duty to provide essential services correctly, efficiently and keep you, the taxpayers interest first, not the politicians.”

Three commission seats – held by Solari, Zorc and Commission Vice Chair Susan Adams, representing District 1 – are up for election next year. Adams has announced she plans to run for re-election and Zorc told Vero Beach 32963 he will file to run again by the end of the year.

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