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Dearth of challengers cancels city election

Three City Council incumbents get to remain in office because no one qualified to run against them.

The three City Council incumbents will return to office without an election.

When the qualifying deadline passed, only current council members Jim Dunn, Carol Hajek and Bob Matthews had filed papers to be placed on the ballot. So, the March 7 election was canceled, and each will get another two-year term.

"Whew. My legs say, "Thank you,' " said City Council member Carol Hajek, who has a bad knee. She had planned to go door-to-door to campaign, as she has in previous elections. "I'm really pleased people think we're doing a good job."

Seminole last canceled an election in 1997.

All three council members had said they wanted another term to see through a number of big projects in Seminole, including construction of the $6.1-million recreation center, set to begin next week.

Dunn, 48, the longest-serving member of the council, now enters his eighth term. Dunn grew up in Seminole and has lived there most of his life. He was first elected to the City Council in 1986. He is a customer-service representative for GTE Wireless.

Hajek, 65, has been a council member since 1995.

She has lived in Seminole since 1957 and was present when the city was chartered in Seminole Mall almost 30 years ago. She works as office manager and a real estate agent for Seminole Realty.

Matthews, 55, has been a council member since 1990. He is an instrument technician with Florida Power Corp.

City Council members are elected to two-year terms. The base salary is $3,600 a year, though all council members earn more than that because they get a cost-of-living increase each year.

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