By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR — Even without any millage issues or ballot questions — none have yet been confirmed — city elections this year will feature more candidate names than any time in recent history, City Clerk Cynthia Bower said.
“I’ve never seen this many,” said Bower, who has held the office for more than 20 years. After Tuesday’s filing deadline for petitions, 26 candidates seek the seven, four-year city council seats, and four of the current panel are seeking other offices to further open the field, and primary runoffs will be needed for both mayor and treasurer.
Along with narrowing down the council candidates to 14, a primary election on Aug. 6. will ask voters to narrow the three-candidate mayoral race to two: Incumbent Jeffrey Lamarand, first elected in 2009, is running against current Councilman Rick Sollars and John Edwards, a retired police auxiliary officer.
Also being sought by enough candidates to require an August primary election is the position of treasurer, an office currently staffed by retired school superintendent Lynn Cleary, who last year agreed to fill in the office left vacant by Wayne Avery in 2011.
Cleary has indicated a desire to return to her retirement in Florida, and is not seeking the office. Voters will be asked to reduce the three candidates to two select for the November general election: Council Chairwoman Cheryl Burke; Councilwoman Jaclyn Molner, who had been considered for the position in 2012; and Edward Bourassa, who also had been considered for appointment.
There will be no primary runoff for clerk. Bower will move on to the November general election and vie to retain her seat, which is also being sought by current Councilwoman Jill Brandana.
Taylor ballots are rarely blank, Bower said, but normally attract similar numbers to the 2009 contest, which drew 14 candidates for city council.
With Burke, Molner, Sollars and Bandana seeking other offices and Councilwoman Suzanne Weycker not seeking re-election.
Voters will be asked during the primary narrow the field to 14 candidates — twice the number of available positions — from those two and candidates Jason Binge; Keith Blanchard; Daniel Bzura, principal organizer of the Junior League World Series; Michael Carey; Angela Croft; Jack Cyb; Timothy Faremouth; Eric Hall; Jack Haydon; Charles Johnson; Avi Lachman; Stephanie Moore; Justin Mordarski; John Mrozbk; Linda Parker-Craig; Herman Ramik; Douglas Reimel; Alex Reyes-Garza; Linda Roberts; Ted Schiebold; former Taylor Fire Chief Robert Tompos; Stephen Toth; Timothy Witz; and Timothy Woolley.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected])