The pace of filings for elected offices in Port Aransas has slowed, with only about a week left before slates become final.
Only one new candidate has filed for local office over the past week: Paul Ruff.
The filing period opened on Wednesday, Jan. 19. It ends on Feb. 18.
The election will be May 7.
Running for mayor are Wendy Moore, branch manager at American Bank; and Paul Sherrill, who is listed as “retired” in a news release issued by the City Secretary’s Office.
The mayor’s position currently is held by Charles Bujan. Bujan’s third consecutive term as mayor ends after elections on May 7.
He cannot run for mayor in this election due to term limits.
Victoria Stiewig, Tanya Chambers, Gary Klepperich, Carl “Corky” Moore, Leslie Smith, Dale T. Christianson and Ruff have filed to run for city council.
Incumbent Tina Mott has said she plans to run for re-election to Place 2, but she wasn’t among candidates listed in a news release as having filed. The release was issued on Monday, Feb. 7, by the City Secretary’s Office.
Stiewig, who has filed to run for Place 2, is an RV park owner. Mott is a postal service carrier.
Mott defeated Stiewig and another candidate, Jon Christensen, during a special election held on Nov. 2 to replace Shannon Solimine, who resigned from Place 2 in May because she was moving out of town.
Not long after Solimine’s resignation, efforts by the city council to appoint someone to replace her ended in 3-3 votes. That resulted in the special election being called.
Mott was elected to serve out the rest of Solimine’s term, which ends with the May election.
Chambers, listed in a City Hall news release as a “business owner,” has filed to run for Place 4.
Also filing for that seat is Klepperich, whose occupation was listed as executive director of the Padre Isles Property Owners Association. The release listed his home address as being on Paradise Point Drive, which is within the Port Aransas city limits.
Bruce Clark is the incumbent in Place 4. He is finishing his third consecutive term and cannot run again due to term limits.
Moore, Smith, Christianson and Ruff have filed to run for Place 6, which is held by Joan Holt, who cannot run again due to term limits.
Moore is identified as a “preservation developer” in the City Hall news release. Smith’s occupation is HVAC business owner, the release said. Christianson is identified in the release as a “business owner.” Ruff is a waiter.
Three school board positions are opening up: Place 4, held by Cherrie Stunz; Place 5, held by Daniel Johnson; and Place 6, held by Marc Hofhiens.
All three incumbents have filed to run for re-election. No challengers had filed to run against any of them as of midday on Monday, Feb. 7.
School board members serve three-year terms and there are no term limits. The positions are unpaid.
Folks interested in filing for school board positions may pick up paperwork at the PAISD offices at 100 S. Station St.
School district administrators have asked the public to make appointments before visiting. The phone number there is (361) 749-1205.
Folks also may contact Rosalie Johnson, administrative assistant to the superintendent, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The terms of water district board members Josh Garcia and Walter Sohl are set to expire. Both have filed to run for re-election. No challengers have surfaced.
Board members serve at large. As a result, no one will be running for specific seats. All candidates will run against each other, with the top two vote getters winning the election.
Their terms are four years long. They are unpaid positions. Board members have no term limits.
The water district supplies Port Aransas with tap water that comes from the Corpus Christi Water Department and the San Patricio Water District.
The district also is responsible for supplying sewer service in Port Aransas.
The South Jetty invites candidates to submit statements regarding their candidacies, reasons for running and qualifications for the office they seek.
Statements should be approximately 600 words long, typewritten and emailed to the South Jetty’s news editor, Dan Parker, at email@example.com, with “Candidate Statement” on the subject line.
The statements will be accepted for publication at no charge through noon on Monday, Feb. 21.
Candidates may submit photos of themselves to be published with their statements, or they may make arrangements to have a South Jetty staff member shoot a photo.
Depending on the status of COVID-19 cases and the omicron variant, the South Jetty plans to host Candidates’ Night, a voter education forum for candidates in contested races.
The event has been scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, at Council Chambers in City Hall.
Candidates must confirm their participation at the time they file or no later than 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 21.
They may confirm by calling the South Jetty at (361) 749-5131 or emailing Parker and writing “Candidates’ Night” on the subject line.
Candidates in contested races who do not confirm participation in Candidates’ Night will not be included in the forum.
If only two candidates are on the ballot for the same position and one of the two doesn’t confirm, only the candidate who confirmed will be included in the forum.
If two or more candidates on the ballot confirm participation and other candidates do not, only the candidates who confirmed will be included.
The South Jetty hopes to hold Candidates’ Night in a location where an audience will be allowed to attend, in person.
If COVID concerns warrant it, the newspaper could decide to live-stream the event without an audience in the room.
If it is determined that holding an in-person Candidates’ Night is unsafe due to the pandemic, candidates will be emailed questions and the responses will be published in the South Jetty prior to the start of early voting.