Despite posts to the contrary on the Gabber’s “Gulfport Ideas and Opinions” Facebook group, when the qualifying period for Gulfport elections closed Monday afternoon, not one candidate submitted paperwork to run against the Ward One incumbent.
Dan Liedtke, who won the seat two years ago by nine votes, will keep the Ward One seat.
“I think there are a lot of reasons why no one stepped forward to make it a race for Ward One,” he told the Gabber Monday afternoon. “But I am not going to spend any time thinking about that. I am only looking forward and want to continue working as a team member with the rest of the council and city staff on things that will improve Gulfport.”
With no one challenging the current vice mayor for his Ward One seat, three of the five elected officials sitting on the dais come March will not have had a challenger, although Councilman Liedtke did usurp incumbent David Hastings in the previous Ward One election.
Several residents chafed at the idea of the majority of council assuming leadership roles without going through an election.
“This city should be ashamed of its lack of interest in the operation of its city government,” seasonal resident Nancy Kelly said on the “Gulfport Ideas and Opinions” page. “Very ashamed!”
Vice Mayor Liedtke remained optimistic.
“[I] believe there are more good things to come,” he said.