Five seek three seats on Front Royal Council

The Warren Sentinel

FRONT ROYAL — Five town residents have thrown their hats in the ring for three four-year terms on the town council that are up for grabs in the November general election.

As the June 14 deadline to get on the ballot for the Nov. 8 election, no competition emerged for lone mayoral candidate Hollis Tharpe.

Two sitting councilmen are running to keep their seats, according to information from the Warren County Voter Registrarís Office. Councilman Bret Hrbek announced in January that he is not seeking re-election.

Councilman Gene Tewalt is seeking another term on council. He was returned to council in 2012 after having served from 2000 to 2004 and 2006 to 2008. He left council during his second term because he was elected mayor in 2008.

Councilman Jacob Meza is seeking his first elected term on council. The former planning commissioner was appointed in January to fill the remaining term of Daryl Funk, who was elected clerk of the Warren County Circuit Court last year.

Mike McCool, owner of National Media Services, filed to seek one of the open council seats. He is a former chairman of the Front Royal Board of Zoning Appeals and served on the Front Royal Planning Commission. He ran for Warren County commissioner of the revenue in 2013.

Bill Sealock Jr., a member of the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority Board of Directors, also will be on the ballot in November. He has not previously sought elected office but has served two stints on the EDA board separated by a military deployment to Germany.

Robert M. Tennett Jr. also has filed to run for council in November. Tennett has sought election to council twice before, in 2012 and 2014.

Vice Mayor Hollis Tharpe, owner of Tharpe Novelties ice cream trucks, announced his intention to run for mayor last month after Mayor Tim Darr said he would not seek re-election. He has served five terms on council in two stretches: from 2000 to 2004 and 2010 to the present.

Mayors serve for two years in Front Royal.

While the deadline to get on the ballot has passed, residents still can run as write-in candidates, Warren County Voter Registrar Carol Tobin said Wednesday.

Council members and Town Attorney Doug Napier briefly discussed possible charter changes dealing with town elections during their work session Monday night. Mayor Tim Darr said he would prefer to move town elections back to May, as they were prior to 2014. Councilwoman Bebhinn Egger also asked about the possibility of imposing term limits. The issue is expected to be discussed further at a future work session.

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