WILDWOOD - City voters will have six candidates to choose from, including two current members of City Commission, if they decide to recall Mayor Ernest Troiano Jr. and Commissioner Bill Davenport in the Dec. 8 recall election.
Troiano and Davenport, who had the option of appearing only on the recall portion of the ballot, are among the six candidates who filed petitions with City Clerk Christopher Wood by Thursday's deadline.
The other candidates are John Roat, Ernesto Salvatico, Al Brannen and Edward Harshaw.
The recall ballot will first ask voters if they want to recall Troiano and Davenport. If they do, then they will select from the list of candidates to fill those two spots on the commission.
If the majority of the voters do not select the recall option, then Troiano and Davenport would retain their seats on the three-member commission.
The recall movement began in 2008 in response to the city's growing tax rate and ongoing financial troubles. Recall organizers had to collect 697 signatures from registered city voters to trigger the recall election, and in August, following a trial held in Cape May County Superior Court, Judge Raymond Batten declared the recall committees had collected more than enough signatures.
Wood said Thursday that a drawing for ballot position will be held at 4 p.m. Oct. 21 in City Hall.
The list of candidates includes three Wildwood High School graduates and several former city and county political candidates.
Troiano, 58, is a lifelong city resident who works as a concrete and masonry contractor. He has served on the commission since 1999 and was named mayor in 2003.
Davenport, 63, is also a lifelong resident and retired after serving as a captain with the city's Fire Department. He was appointed to City Commission in 2006 to fill the seat of the late Commissioner Fred Wager and was elected in 2007.
Roat, 64, moved to Wildwood three years ago after living in Wildwood Crest. Roat is retired but previously worked as a casino bartender and at Thompson Hardware in Wildwood Crest. He ran unsuccessful campaigns for a seat on the Wildwood Crest Borough Commission in 1997 and 2001.
Salvatico, 81, has lived in Wildwood for more than 20 years. He moved to the United States from Uruguay in 1964. Salvatico has run for a seat on the commission in previous elections, including the 2007 race, and previously ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Cape May County Board of Freeholders.
Brannen, 66, has been a city resident since 1963 and currently works part-time in food sales. Brannen is a former chairman of the city's Planning Board, and he served as a member of the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority for 10 years.
Harshaw, 60, is another lifelong city resident and continues to work as a history teacher at the Cape May County Technical High School. Harshaw, who served on the city's school board, ran unsuccessfully for a seat on City Commission in 2007.
Troiano and Davenport are running as a team under the slogan, "Continued Good Government." Brannen and Harshaw are running together under the slogan, "Had enough taxes yet?"
The last day for residents to register to vote in the recall election is Nov. 17, and the last day to apply for an absentee ballot is Dec. 7. The election will be held from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 8. Voters in districts one and two will vote at the Holly Beach Fire Station and voters in districts three, four and five will vote at the Wildwoods Convention Center.
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