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Janet Hooper resigns from commission to run for Safety Harbor mayor

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Safety Harbor commissioner Janet Hooper turned in her resignation Monday to run for mayor.

She’ll still be sitting in Seat 1 on the commission for a while. Her resignation is not effective until March 21, the week after Safety Harbor’s municipal election. State law requires officeholders to resign to run for a different office.

“It has been an honor to serve as a commissioner these past two years and I look forward to the opportunity to serve the residents of this great city in whatever capacity the residents so choose,” Hooper wrote in her resignation letter.

Hooper is in her first term on the Safety Harbor commission. She becomes the second candidate to enter the race. Former Mayor Joe Ayoub is also running.

“I believe I offer something to the city,” Hooper said. “I believe the people should have a choice. There was only one other candidate.”

Although Hooper made it official Monday, she’s been planning to run at least since Oct.28 when she filled out a “Statement of Candidate” form and appointed a campaign treasurer.

Hooper also spent November fundraising. A campaign finance report filed Monday indicated she received a donation of $1,000 from David Becker on Nov. 28. She also loaned herself $300 on Nov. 22 and another $400 on Nov. 29.

Hooper also scheduled a kickoff fundraiser for Monday evening, an event publicized Dec. 7 on the Saving Safety Harbor Facebook page.

“Now is the time for all good citizens to come to support Janet Hooper for mayor,” the Saving Safety Harbor page reads. “Janet’s kickoff party is set for Monday 12/12 at the Eighth Avenue Pub from 6-8 p.m. This is your opportunity to get to know our candidate and meet other supporters. Janet’s commitment to Safety Harbor is demonstrated by her strong voting record as a commissioner. Her thoughtful input shows that she has done her homework, understands the issues, and always votes with the interest of the residents coming first.”

However, as of Monday afternoon, Hooper had not gotten around to updating her campaign website or Facebook page, which makes it appear she’s running for Seat 1 on the commission – a seat that’s not up for grabs in March.

Hooper said Monday that she had given her webmaster the information necessary to change both the website and Facebook pages. Her webmaster, a campaign volunteer, had not gotten around to it yet.

“She said she would get it done” this week, Hooper said. “I will get that straightened out.”

The Safety Harbor election is March 14. Candidate qualifying begins at noon Jan. 3 and ends noon Jan. 10. The mayor’s office and Seat 4 on the commission are on the ballot. Incumbent Carlos Diaz and Cameron Boozarjomehri are running for Seat 4.

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