Four candidates apply for vacant St. Cloud seat – Osceola News-Gazette

St. Cloud residents who want to run for the City Council Seat 3 vacated by last month’s passing of Council Member Chuck Cooper will need to qualify for an autumn special election next month.

The qualifying period runs from noon on Monday through noon July 23 at the Supervisor of Elections Office. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

By Florida Statute, the city is holding a special election to fill Cooper’s unexpired term. Whoever wins the special election will hold the seat for the remainder of the unexpired term, which ends in 2024.

The special election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 9, if two candidates qualify. If more than two qualify, a primary election will be held Oct. 5, with a Nov. 9 runoff if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote.

Per the Elections website, the race has four entrants. Kolby Urban, a housing contractor, ran against Cooper in his 2020 reelection bid and got 47 percent of the vote. He hadn’t planned to run for office again until 2024, as his wife gave birth to their first child earlier this year, but “overwhelming support from friends, family and supporters” urged him to try again in this impromptu election.

“I felt then I was the right person for the position, and still do, but I have nothing but respect for the service Mr. Cooper gave this city over a long time.” Urban said.

Two other members of the party of four who have filed to run for Cooper’s former seat, joined by Jose Martinez, will look and sound familiar to recent St. Cloud voters. Donnie Shroyer, a public school teacher and City Council member from 2010-2018 who again ran in 2020, is in the mix. So is Anthony Busby, a Veteran and business owner who ran for city seats in 2016 and 2018. He is resigning from a seat on the Osceola County Soil and Water Conservation board to run for this seat.

“I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of people and talk about their concerns on that board, and I feel like I can do more to help more people on the City Council,” Busby said.

If elected, he hopes to address concerns about the city’s permitting process for projects and businesses and its building and density codes and creating more green space in the shadow of the area’s growth.

“Development will come whether we want it or not,” he said. “I’d like to make changes as it has to do with conservation, considering our water costs are so high and the city’s not in a position to lower the rate.

“I had a wonderful experience when I last ran against (current Councilman) Dave Askew in 2018, it was a professional campaign and I hope we can do the same this time around.”

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