OCALA, Fla. – Four Ocala city council seats are up for grabs in Tuesday’s election.
The polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday and will close at 7 p.m.
Here’s what voters need to know before casting their vote:
Brent Malever and Barry Mansfield are running for the District 1 seat. Malever said he believes in the constitution, life, the second amendment and religious liberty. Mansfield said he does not want any new taxes in Ocala. He wants to bring better-paying jobs to the city and improve city services for residents.
The three candidates running for the District 3 spot are Russell “Rusty” Juergens, Jay A. Musleh and Ty Schlichter. In this race, if a candidate gets more than 50% of the votes, they will be named the winner. If no one reaches this number, the top two candidates will be on the November ballot for the seat. Juergens wants to keep taxes low, improve small businesses in Ocala and wants to continue to support first responders and local law enforcement. Musleh has been the city councilman of District 3 since 2012. Schlichter wants to manage growth in Ocala, support first responders, improve the city’s look and tackle the problem of homelessness in Ocala.
James P. Hilty and Greg Steen are running for the District 5 seat. Hilty wants to improve Ocala’s parking in downtown, find solutions to the homelessness problem and improve the electric and utility issues in the city. Steen said he wants to support the city’s farming community, support first responders and help the homeless population through affordable housing.
Kristen M. Dreyer, Alexander R. Everts, Barbara Fitos, Lori Martin Gregory, Curtis Jones and Kevin Lopez are going for the District 4 seat. In this race, if a candidate gets more than 50% of the votes, they will be named the winner. If no one reaches this number, the top two candidates will be on the November ballot for the seat.
Dreyer wants to focus on economic development in Ocala and support the city’s first responders. Everts wants to improve public transportation in Ocala and create more resources for the homeless population. Fitos wants to revitalize downtown Ocala and address the homelessness issue in the city. Gregory said she wants to stop over-regulation and mandates. She adds she wants to make every neighborhood safer and support local law enforcement. Jones said he wants to address the homelessness problem and spread awareness about mental health in the community. Lopez wants to expand residential internet choice in Ocala and resources for families to compost household waste.