“It’s been very quiet politically in Roswell this year,” Mayor Jere Wood said.
“I have not heard anyone who has said they are considering running. I have not heard any credible rumors, either, much less direct information.”
Qualifying week is Aug. 26 to Aug. 30. That’s when hopefuls can file papers, pay the qualifying fee and make their candidacy official. Up for election in this cycle is city council post 4, currently held by Kent Igleheart; post 5, held by Jerry Orlans; post 6, held by Nancy Diamond; and the office of mayor, currently occupied by Wood. All of the council incumbents confirmed their intention to run for re-election. Two out of three mentioned the proposed Unified Development Code as one of the reasons for their decision.
“Yes, I am planning to run,” Diamond said. “While many of the things I had hoped we would accomplish in the last four years are happening or well on the way, there are still some that are still ‘under construction,’ like the cleanup of our code with the UDC, Fire Station No. 4 relocation, and the branding and marketing campaign.”
Igleheart said Roswell is in the middle of many new issues and he wanted to help see them through.
“The new UDC is going to be a challenge to bring on-line and I want to continue what I think is the important role of questioning and hammering out the details,” he said. “My long history with zoning issues gives me a unique perspective on those details.”
Orlans said he too was seeking another term, but hadn’t planned to give formal notice this soon. “I was hoping, if it was real quiet, no one would file against me,” he joked.
That could be what Wood’s motive is in keeping his intentions from being known until Aug. 26.
“I am seriously considering it,” he said of running again. “I will make my decision this week.”
In past election cycles, Wood announced much earlier. One year, many months in advance of the qualifying date, he proclaimed his candidacy from the steps of city hall flanked by several high-profile supporters.
“I’m a little older and wiser now,” he said with a chuckle. “To say that every campaign is run with the same strategy would be wrong.”
The name most often mentioned as a possible mayoral challenger is Councilwoman Betty Price. She would neither confirm nor deny her intentions, but didn’t sound averse to the idea.
“It is heavily on my mind,” she said. “I’d love the job. Timing is everything. Qualifying is the 26th to the 30th. I suspect it will be clear by then.”
Councilman Rich Dippolito also hedged when asked if he might be considering a run for mayor. “I don’t currently have plans to run,” he said last week. Other names that have surfaced as potential candidates for elective offices are former councilwoman Lori Henry, who has picked up papers and said she is still weighing her options; former councilman David Tolleson, who said he was out of politics for now; and Lee Fleck, who has unsuccessfully challenged sitting council members in the past.
“The last time I made a mistake and got into a race with far too many candidates,” Fleck said. “I will evaluate the situation in the later portion of the week candidates and apply.
“Personally I do not want any current councilperson to run unopposed.”