MARATHON -- Two residents have announced their intentions to run for two at-large seats on the Marathon City Council this fall. Candidates have until next month to qualify for the election.
Former Mayor Pete Worthington left public office last year after serving four consecutive two-year terms, the maximum allowed before taking a term off.
He garnered some notoriety last year when he appeared in a television commercial endorsing U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia for Congress. He has since served as a senior adviser to Garcia on federal issues affecting the Middle Keys.
If elected, Worthington said he will work to secure state grant funding to pay down debt incurred in constructing the city's sewer system.
In this year's state legislative session, the Florida Keys failed to secure a second $50 million grant after the Republican leadership announced it would only provide funds to create jobs.
Vice Mayor Richard Keating will be running for his second term on the council.
Keating, who was elected in 2011, has been a staunch opponent of the zip line project in Crane Point Hammock. Opponents say the protected white-crowned pigeon would be harmed by the zip line, but some in the scientific community disagree. The council has moved forward with the project.
Keating supports Worthington's intentions to bring state sewer money to the Keys.
"I would really like to see us get a new city hall, but more importantly would be to get the [grant] money," Keating said.
Resident Allen Pedersen announced his candidacy for the seat but withdrew earlier this week.
If no one else files for the two seats, the city will not hold an election, effectively saving the town $30,000 it has budgeted.
Leaving the council will be Mayor Mike Cinque, who is termed out after serving on the council since 2006.