Orchid City Council qualifying begins Friday

ORCHID — Qualifying for a city council seat here begins Friday, the first qualifying period in Indian River County. Qualifying for the November 8 elections will continue until May 4.

Three seats on the five-member council will be up for election this year. The winners will serve a four-year term until November 2026.

The incumbents vying for re-election are Mayor Bob Gibbons and council members Simms Browning and Patti Oertle-Phaneuf. None have yet indicated whether they will seek re-election.

Since most Orchid residents are seasonal and council candidates want to complete their candidate information packages before leaving for the summer, the earlier qualifying period allows them to submit their information without relying on the mail, said City Manager Cherry Stowe.

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Residents interested in running should contact City Clerk Vyviana Sawley to receive a candidate information package. Applicants must be Orchid residents and registered voters in Florida.

Original qualification forms must be received at City Hall by 4:00 p.m. on May 2.

Last year, Elections Supervisor Leslie Swan asked local municipalities to bring forward their reporting periods to give her office more time to prepare ballots and eliminate the burden on election workers. This means that the qualification period for 2022 now runs from the 71st day before the primary election until the 67th day.

Qualifying at Sebastian and Fellsmere will take place from August 4-19. Sebastian will have two seats in the election and Fellsmere has three.

Qualifying at Vero Beach and Indian River Shores will take place August 15-19. Vero Beach voters will choose three city council members; in Indian River Shores, two city council seats are open.

Janet Begley is a local freelance writer for TCPalm.com. If you like articles like this and other TCPalm coverage of Treasure Coast news, please support our journalism and subscribe now.

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