Every year is an election year in Lake Helen, and this time three seats are up for grabs, including that of the mayor.
The current mayor, Daisy Raisler, announced at a recent City Commission meeting that she did not intend to run for the seat again. Raisler was a first-time political candidate when she won the office in 2017.
Former City Commissioners Vernon Burton and George Cameron Lane have thrown their hats in the ring for the mayor’s seat, as has former Deputy City Clerk Lauren Olsen. Burton represented Zone 2 in Lake Helen for 11 years, until last November, and has run for mayor unsuccessfully twice.
“Third time’s the charm!” Burton told The Beacon.
Lane spent seven years as Zone 4 representative until a 2014 general election loss to newcomer Tura Schnebly, who served one term.
Olsen resigned from her position as deputy city clerk in March after the hiring of new City Administrator Lee Evett. In her resignation letter, Olsen cited a deteriorating working relationship with Evett.
Olsen’s campaign slogan is “Time to Polish the Gem,” a reference to Lake Helen’s city title, “The Gem of Florida.”
In Zone 1, incumbent Kelly Frasca has a challenger in Heather Rutledge, a first-time candidate for the seat.
At the end of qualifying June 11, no one had filed to run against current City Commissioner Rick Basso, so he was automatically re-elected to the Zone 3 seat.
Lake Helen residents will go to the polls Tuesday, Aug. 17. If a runoff is needed because no one wins more than 50 percent of the vote in either of the two elections that day, a second vote will take place in November.
Although candidates for Lake Helen City Commission must live in the zones they want to represent, they are elected citywide. All registered voters who live in Lake Helen can cast ballots.