Two more individuals have filed to run in the 2020 Owensboro City Commission election, bringing the total number of candidates to 11 with just four seats available for the taking.
Joseph Martin filed to run last week, while Jay Velotta completed his paperwork on Friday.
Martin, a veteran who currently works at Owensboro Health, ran in the City Commission election in 2016 and 2018. Though he did not win, Martin earned 4,244 votes from Owensboro residents in the 2016 election.
Owensboro Times made multiple attempts to contact Martin on Friday but did not get a response.
Velotta served a two-year term as City Commissioner from 2016-2018. He was narrowly edged out of a seat in the 2018 election, receiving the fifth-highest number of votes out of a record-breaking 14 candidates.
A real estate broker at Gulfstream Commercial Services, LLC, Velotta said the upcoming board of commissioners needs earnest, adaptable leadership from those who are elected to serve.
“Right now, with the way the world is, I think we need some good, strong leadership, and I’ve got experience serving as a City Commissioner,” he said. “I love my community. I want to help my community get through this.”
With the City of Owensboro facing a number of unprecedented challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, Velotta said some tough decisions are going to have to be made regarding the City budget.
“Every decision is an important decision right now,” Velotta said. “We are going to have to accommodate new businesses coming into the area. As we all know, some existing businesses haven’t made it through this difficult time. But these businesses are the lifeblood of our community, and we need to make sure we don’t lose any more of them.”
By working closely with the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation, Velotta believes the City will continue to see businesses succeed and grow, despite the current state of the economy.
He also believes in supporting first responders — police, fire, dispatch and ambulance personnel — who’ve worked on the front lines during this months-long pandemic.
“They are key,” he said. “They’re on the front lines. Those things are going to have to be looked at [in the budget] because the budget is very sensitive to those essential services.”
The rest of the candidates include incumbents Larry Maglinger and Jeff Sanford, as well as Bob Glenn, Deanna Endicott-Smith, Mike Walker, Walter Lee, Deborah Fillman, Dale Taylor and Gordon Wilcher.
The deadline to file is 4 p.m. June 2.