2 incumbents, 6 others seek 4 seats on Vero Beach council

VERO BEACH — About halfway through the qualifying period for the municipal elections and already there are double the number of candidates as there are seats available.

The latest entries into the race for four seats on the Vero Beach City Council dais are Vice Mayor Sabe Abel and resident Jay Kramer.


Abel has filed for the 1-year term to finish the remainder of ousted Vero Beach City Councilman Charlie Wilson’s seat. Kramer is running for a 2-year term seat.

Abel and Kramer join Mayor Kevin Sawnick, former Mayor Craig Fletcher, and residents Pilar Turner, Richard Kennedy, Dean Heran and Tracy Carroll.

Heran is the only other candidate to have filed for the single year term seat. All the other candidates are vying for the three 2-year term seats.

Abel could not be reached for comment about his decision to run for re-election and his choice of the 1-year term.

Kramer is a 7-year resident in the City of Vero Beach and sees running for and serving on the council as a form of public service and a way for him to give back to the community, he said.

“I’m a big believer in public service and volunteering,” Kramer said.

There are a number of issues the candidate said he’d like to take on once elected to the council, the biggest of which is electric. Other issues include pensions, water, and promoting business.

Neither Councilmen Tom White nor Ken Daige have declared their interest in running for re-election. Daige was appointed to fill ousted Councilman Wilson’s seat after a judge ruled Wilson did not meet the city’s qualifications when he ran.

Councilman Brian Heady is the only member of the Vero Beach City Council who is safe come November. His seat will be up for election in November 2011.

Though the municipal election is garnering a fair number of candidates, to date it is not the most hotly contested election the city has had over recent years.

In order for that to happen, at least six more Vero Beach residents would have to file to run – and even that would end in a tie with the 2009 election.

In 2009, seven candidates ran for two open seats, leading to the ousting of two incumbents and the placement of two challengers – Charlie Wilson and Brian Heady. The race saw 3 1/2 candidate run per seat.

With four seats open this year, and eight candidates, there are two people running per seat.

The qualifying period run through Sept. 3. Candidates have until then to file the required paperwork. No candidates will be allowed to join the race after that date.

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