by Gabe Bullard
Of the 13 Metro Council seats up for election this year, only one is not being sought by an incumbent.
Republican Hal Heiner is seeking the mayor’s office and cannot run for a third term on the council representing the east-end district. Three Republicans and one Democrat have filed to run for Heiner’s seat.
Republican candidate and former vice-chair of the local Young Republicans Daniel Osborne says the councilman still dominates many conversations in the east-end district.
“People in general have had a very favorable impression of Hal Heiner and the job that he’s done and so I think they are looking for someone who will follow in that style,” he says.
Candidate Jerry Miller says closeness to Heiner’s policies is important. With the mayoral primary at the top of the ticket, Miller expects many district Republicans will turn out to vote on Tuesday.
“I think quite certainly it’s going to be a heavy turnout countywide for Republicans this year, and particularly in the 19th District where Hal has been a successful candidate twice,” he says.
Miller previously worked in state government and was briefly the chair of the Jefferson County Republican Party.
Businessman and retired detective Kaven Rumpel says the winning candidate will likely benefit from turnout for other races on the ballot as well.
“It’s not just the mayor. We’ve got Congress, we’ve got a lot of seats that we need to look at and I don’t think it’s just the mayor’s race. I think it’s the combination of a lot of things,” he says. “People are tired.”
Web designer and internet marketer Justin Chelf is the only Democrat seeking the 19th District seat.