UPDATED They’re off and running: Three sign up on 1st day of Bellaire election filing

UPDATE (7:22 p.m. July 24): City Secretary Tracy Dutton reports that incumbent Mayor Andrew Friedberg and Position 5 Councilmember Michael Fife filed paperwork Monday to run for re-election to their positions, and that Neil Verma has filed for the Position 1 council seat.

By Charlotte Aguilar

Filing for the Nov. 7 Bellaire municipal election technically began on Saturday when city offices were closed, so in reality, filing opens today (Monday, July 24). A number of intentions have already been made clear.

After indicating interest, term-limited Councilman Roman Reed said he has decided against challenging incumbent Mayor Andrew Friedberg, who has indicated he will seek re-election to a second two-year term.

Declaring in advance for Reed’s Position 1 seat were Neil Verma, chair of the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board, and Kevin Newman, a member of the Bellaire L.I.F.E seniors advisory board, who is making his second run for a seat at the council table.

Gus Pappas had drawn no announced competition as filing opened as he seeks re-election for Position 3.

And in Position 5, incumbent Michael Fife, who was elected to Friedberg’s seat when he was chosen as mayor, is seeking a full term. She’s opposed by former Councilmember Jim Avioli, who was term-limited after eight years, and has sat out the past two years by serving on the Board of Adjustment.

Of course, with filing continuing through 5 p.m. Aug. 21, the cast of characters could grow. Stay tuned.

Click here for more information on election filing.

Incumbent Mayor Andrew Friedberg and Position 3 Councilmember Gus Pappas attracted no opponent interest in the days before the month-long filing period opened Monday.

Kevin Newman, left, and Neil Verma have said they will seek to fill the Position 1 council vacancy left by term-limited Roman Reed.

Former Councilmember Jim Avioli is seeking to return, challenging incumbent Councilmember Michael Fife for Position 5. She is seeking her first full term.