Oldsmar Vice-Mayor Eric Seidel to run for mayor in 2019

Oldsmar Vice-Mayor Eric Seidel recently announced he will run for mayor in March 2019. (Credit: City of Oldsmar)

Three-term Oldsmar City Council member and current Vice-Mayor Eric Seidel recently announced his 2019 mayoral candidacy.

Seidel, who served on the council from 2007-2009 before being elected to Seat 1 in 2015, where he was automatically reappointed in March, made the announcement in a social media post last week.

“Today, I officially filed my paper work to run for the office of “Mayor of the City of Oldsmar,” Seidel wrote on Facebook on August 7.

“With Oldsmar Mayor (Doug) Bevis in his last year of eligibility, I intend to stay diligent the remainder of my term as Vice Mayor and be part of a strong finish for the Mayor & the City.”

He continued, “I want to thank all those citizens and past leaders who have encouraged me to take this step. As the days ahead unfold I will post more about the campaign and the future vision of building on our City’s success.

“And thank you to my wife Amber Seidel and family for being so supportive of this big family commitment!”

Oldsmar City Council members Gabby McGee and Eric Seidel enjoy a reception honoring the pair’s automatic reelection in March 2018. (Credit: City of Oldsmar)

According to his bio on the city’s website, Seidel has an extensive community service record, including national president of the United States Jr. Chamber and president of the Florida Jaycees.

Additionally, Seidel has served as Oldsmar’s representative for the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, and he was selected to participate in the Leadership Pinellas Class of 2018.

Eric Seidel and his wife, Amber.

He also served on the Board of Directors for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) and the Executive Board of Directors for the Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce, was a member of the Market Square Community Review Committee, the Oldsmar Fire Fighter Pension Board and the Board of Adjustments.

When contacted for comment about his candidacy, Seidel said he is excited about the opportunity to lead the city he has called home for the last 15 years.

“I had the privilege of serving on the Oldsmar City Council for the first time back in 2007,” he wrote via email.

“I’ve served under three different Mayors over the years and have served three times as Vice Mayor. I believe the experiences have helped to prepare me to be our next Mayor.”

Oldsmar Vice Mayor Eric Seidel tackles a suspension bridges at the Extreme Aerial Obstacles Park at Mobbly Bayou Preserve on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016.

Seidel, who serves as president and CEO of Web-Est, an international auto collision estimating website he co-founded a decade ago, said he believes his business acumen will work in his advantage.

“My past business experience is that of a CEO of a public company for a decade,” he said, adding, “I intend to use those skills to continue building our city.”

Although the March 2019 election is still more than six months away, Seidel is already planning a platform focused on getting the city’s long-gestating downtown redevelopment off the ground.

“I want to build on our city’s successes and continue with the priorities our council has been pursuing for the last few years,” he wrote.

“However, my primary goal is for our city to once & for-all start building a downtown.

“We have so many amenities for our citizens, but we still have no central place developed our community can call “their” downtown. It’s been talked about too long now. It’s time to make it happen.”

(L-R) Oldsmar City Council member Dan Saracki, Mayor Doug Bevis, Council members Gabby McGee and Jerry Beverland and Vice-Mayor Eric Seidel at Veteran’s Memorial Park on Memorial Day 2017.

In conjunction with Seidel’s announcement, he was forced to resign from Seat 3, effective immediately following the election on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

Two other Oldsmar City Council spots—Seat 2 and Seat 4—will also be up for grabs.

Seat 2 is currently occupied by Dan Saracki, while longtime local lawmaker Jerry Beverland holds Seat 4.

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