Council members Jud Ashman and Cathy Drzyzgula today at turned in the 100 signatures needed to officially become a candidate for the city council.
This marks their first official step toward re-election.
Other than Ashman and Drzyzgula, only Councilman Ryan Spiegel and local business owner Tom Rowse have publicly said they would run for a council seat in this election.
Spiegel held a campaign last month, but so far neither of them have turned in their completed petitions.
Spiegel, Ashman and Drzyzgula are the only three council members up for re-election this year.
Ashman and Drzyzgula are running together, like they did four years ago, in order to pool their resources and draw on each other's support base, they said.
But their partnership goes even further.
"I have great respect for the way Jud does this job," Drzyzgula said.
"It's not that Cathy and I agree on every single issue..." Ashman said. "But I think Cathy is the most valuable member of the council."
He added that she was "a remarkable and rare public official."
Mark Ezrin, a Lakelands resident and long-time community activist will serve as their campaign manager.
“I am excited to be a part of Jud and Cathy’s campaign,” Ezrin said in a statement. “They have served admirably and represent the best kind of public officials. It’s a pleasure to work to support them.”
Candidates have until 5 p.m. on Sept. 19 to file a petition of nomination signed by 100 registered voters who live in the city.
Elections will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8.