MARATHON -- Marathon City Councilman Dick Ramsay has announced his candidacy for a third term and longtime city resident Bill Daniels has said he will also run.
Three seats on the five-seat council will be determined in the Nov. 6 election. Mayor Pete Worthington has served three consecutive terms, beginning in 2006, and reached a term limit as outlined by Marathon's city charter.
"I decided that I needed to run again in order to finish my objective to have Marathon become an official port of entry through its airport and harbor," Ramsay said.
In a prepared statement, Ramsay said that "this important designation will provide long-lasting, multi-level economic boosts for Marathon and the Middle Keys."
Ramsay said his fulfilled political promises range from online permitting to creating a "local preference" policy that favors local contractors performing local work.
On a personal note, he said he conducted an informal poll of some of his constituents and also consulted with his wife before throwing his hat in the ring.
"My wife and I are a team, so we sat down together and talked about it and she gave me her blessing [to run again]," Ramsay said.
Bill Daniels, 49, also said the time is right to run for office.
"I've lived in Marathon all my life and I've always wanted to be more involved in the city commission," he said. "I had to wait for a point in time for my kids to be old enough and to have the right job situation."
Daniels is a commercial lending officer with Capital Bank in Marathon. Previously, he was a bank auditing consultant. He began his banking career with the Marathon Bank in 1985, which later became Bank of America. He also helped to found Marine Bank of the Florida Keys, now Centennial Bank. He also served as president of a local modular home construction company.
He said he thinks overall the city staff and city council have done a "fantastic job."
"I'm running because I think there's lot of things in our near future that will affect Marathon in terms of growth. I'd like to see brand new hotel rooms in Marathon, and we're going to need a permanent city hall and improvements to our parks and recreation. My financial background will aid in helping me be a part of that process," he said.
Daniels has held office before. He was appointed and then elected to the Monroe County Mosquito Control Board in 1988 and again in 1994. He has also served on numerous boards for affordable housing and education.
He is married and has three elementary school-age children.
Daniels and Ramsay join three others in the race for a city council seat: incumbent councilwoman Ginger Snead and challengers C.J. Geotis and Larry Shaffer. Snead is also seeking her third term and is a local business owner of a fitness center that encompasses everything from physical therapy to Zumba dance classes. Geotis was a former Marathon deputy city manager and is currently a business consultant. Shaffer is editor of an online Florida Keys news site.
Marathon's elections are at-large, meaning the top three vote getters will earn a seat on the council. Council members receive a salary of $18,000 a year.