Interest appears high for the upcoming McMinnville city elections with no less than eight potential candidates picking up qualifying papers for the mayor and alderman races in November.
The mayoral seat held by Mayor Norman Rone, and aldermen seats held by Rick Barnes, Clair Cochran and Everett Brock are up for election. Both Cochran and Barnes have indicated they will not seek re-election, while Brock is eyeing another term but has not picked up qualifying papers. The qualifying deadline is not until Aug. 16 at noon. Qualifying papers require 25 signatures of registered city voters.
For the alderman seats, a pair of political newcomers and a pair of seasoned candidates have picked up qualifying papers.
The newcomers include local businessman Jason W. Gross and attorney Ben Newman, neither of whom have sought political office before.
The seasoned candidates are Dennis Taylor, who has run for alderman in the past but fallen short in the voting. However, he is an elected county constable. The fourth potential candidate, Jimmy Bonner Sr., has both won and lost races for alderman.
For the office of mayor, Rone has indicated he plans to run for re-election in what could shape up as a field of four candidates. David S. Hill has already qualified to run. Alderman Jimmy Haley has also indicated he intends to seek the office. Also adding his name to the mix is John Shields, who has fallen short in bids for mayor and county executive.