The Oldsmar City Council will look exactly the same next March, as Gabby McGee and Eric Seidel were automatically reelected after no one qualified to run against them.
There’s an old political adage that says there are only two ways to run an election: scared or unopposed.
In Oldsmar, a pair of City Council incumbents took the latter route, as Eric Seidel and Gabby McGee will be automatically reappointed to Seats 1 and 3, respectively, after no candidates qualified to run against them by the end of the qualifying period on Friday, Nov. 17.
Oldsmar City Council member Eric Seidel (Credit: S&H Photos)
Both will be serving their third terms in local government; Seidel served on council from 2007-09, and he ran again, and won, in 2015, while McGee finished serving Doug Bevis’ term when he ran for mayor in 2014 and was reelected in 2015.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue serving the citizens here Oldsmar,” Seidel told Oldsmar Connect via email.
“I realize there was not an election this time, but I appreciate all of the citizens who helped sign petition cards to get us qualified, I’m excited to continue serving with this outstanding council, Mayor and working with our City staff.”
McGee, a manager at Cisco Systems known for her world traveling and adventurous spirit, spoke about her commitment to serving the city.
Oldsmar City Council member Gabby McGee and her dog, Remi.
“Often times I go directly from my job to Council meetings and work sessions, arriving home late in to the evenings, hungry and exhausted, giving our time on weekends for city events, balancing obligations between our careers, dealing with adversity and contention, and continually representing and advocating for our city, and our citizens,” she wrote in a Facebook post after the qualifying deadline passed.
“Yes, being a politician is a sacrifice, but more importantly, it’s an honor – one I can’t thank you enough for allowing me to have had for these past 5 years, and for the confidence in me to continue to serve and lead you for another term. It’s official, come March, I will be sworn in for my third and last term as your Oldsmar City Councilwoman! My sincerest gratitude!”
With no referendums on ballot, officials announced there will be no local election in March.
The news means that over the past three years, four of the five council seats have been automatically refilled, while the other, Seat 4, required a race when Linda Norris termed out.
That seat was filled by Jerry Beverland, a former mayor and council member who has served the city for nearly 30 years combined.