Former Pierson Mayor Dale Barnhart ended his brief Town Council campaign July 1. He’s withdrawing from the race for Town Council Seat 2 due to his health.
Barnhart’s exit from the race leaves three candidates for Seat 2: Lambert James “Jimmy” Anderson, the former head of the town’s public works department; Kelly Green; and Brandy Peterson.
Barnhart previously served most of two terms as mayor of Pierson from 1994 to 1998. He’s a lifelong resident of Pierson, with family ties to the area dating back to the 1860s.
During his tenure as mayor, the Town Council relocated to its current Town Hall location at 106 N. Center St. with a bombastic celebration that included a reenactment of a Civil War battle that took place in the area.
Barnhart also oversaw the Pierson Public Library opening in its current location and the opening of the area’s YMCA branch.
Barnhart’s time in office wasn’t without some controversy. He came under fire several times for critiquing the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
After a 1995 incident when then-Mayor Barnhart wrote a complaint to then-Sheriff’s Lt. Ben Johnson about poor response time in the Northwest Volusia town, the Town Council passed a rule requiring that correspondences between town officials and others be cleared with city department heads before they could be sent.
Barnhart resigned as mayor of Pierson in September 1998 to run for the Volusia County Council. The Piersonite was not elected to the County Council, losing his bid to DeLandite Dwight D. Lewis.
The race for Town Council Seat 2 will appear on Pierson residents’ primary election ballots. In-person voting will take place Tuesday, Aug 23, and vote-by-mail ballots for those who request them will begin shipping out later this month. For more information about vote-by-mail ballots and upcoming elections, visit www.volusiaelections.gov.