SEBRING - Voters will have plenty of candidates to choose from for the three seats up for election on the City Council March 11
When qualifying finished at 5 p.m. Friday, seven candidates had qualified.
On March 11, the top three vote-getters will fill the seats, but there will be no election for mayor or city clerk.
John Shoop, president of Highlands Independent Bank, and Kathy Haley, the current city clerk, had no opposition when qualifying ended.
Shoop will replace Mayor George Hensley, who decided not to seek re-election after serving about 30 years as a councilman or mayor. Shoop said earlier this year he wanted to run for mayor to help continue moving the city forward.
In the council election, Bud Whitlock will be the only incumbent. Councilmen John Clark and Andrew Fells decided to not seek re-election.
Whitlock said he decided to run again because he wants to continue working on several issues, such as finding a buyer for Harder Hall.
Other candidates seeking election to the council are Lenard Carlisle, Mark Stewart, Rob Horne, Nadine Elliott-Tedstone, MaryAnn Lewis and Marty Roepstorff.
Carlisle ran for City Council in 2013 and lost by four votes in an election with three candidates. Council members John Griffin and Scott Stanley were re-elected. Carlisle has worked for Living Water Services Inc., a citrus irrigation company, He said last year he wanted to serve the community.
Stewart, who serves on the Community Redevelopment Agency board, said he works as a building contractor, lives in the downtown area and wants to serve in the community.
Horne, a contractor who moved to Sebring about nine years ago, serves on Sebring's planning and zoning commission.
He said one of his main reasons for running is that the City Council has yet to move on proposed zoning changes the commission approved. He said he wants to help move those proposed changes forward and believes it will bring in more small businesses.
Elliott-Tedstone, a retired teacher and former candidate for Highlands County Commission, has previously said she would bring a conservative approach to spending taxpayer dollars.
Lewis, a former candidate for Highlands County School Board, was not immediately available for comment.
Roepstorff, who retired recently as director of Sebring Utilities, said he grew up in Sebring and wants to give back to the community.