Lack of interest has been shown in the seats that will be up for election in November within McMinnville city government.
The qualifying period for mayor and three aldermanic seats opened June 22, more than five weeks ago. It has drawn interest from two incumbents, one who is seeking to upgrade.
“I decided to run for mayor because with everything going on right now, I feel that consistency and continuity are important for our community,” said Alderman Ryle Chastain who is running for mayor. “Our citizens deserve someone at the city’s highest office that they know, trust, and have confidence in and I feel that I can be that person for the next four years.”
Alderman Rachel Kirby, who was appointed to the board in 2018, has qualified for run for her first elected term.
Chastain is two years into his second term.
“I have been on the board for six years now, the last two as vice mayor, and I feel this has prepared me for the role. As vice mayor, I have been able to work very closely with Mayor Ben Newman and the department heads as well as other local and state officials and have a strong working knowledge of the city’s day-to-day operations.”
City board members serve staggered terms. The seats currently held by Mayor Ben Newman and Aldermen Kate Alsbrook, Mike Neal and Rachel Kirby are up for grabs this year. The seats currently held by Aldermen Everett Brock, Steve Harvey and Chastain won’t be up until 2022.
Newman announced his decision not to seek re-election, which prompted Chastain to seek that position.
“The board I have served on has been strong and cohesive and I’m proud of the work we have done over the last six years, but we’re set to have a significant turnover after this year’s election,” said Chastain. “I feel that stepping up to the role of mayor while retaining Mr. Brock and Mr. Harvey will help ensure that we continue in the right direction to ensure the best future for our community.”
If Chastain is elected as mayor, the remaining two years of his four-year term will be vacant and likely filled by appointment.
The qualifying deadline for McMinnville city seats is Aug. 20 at 12 p.m. Petitions require 25 valid signatures of registered voters who live in the city or who have registered as a property rights voter. Election Day is Nov. 3.