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Clearwater candidates featured at this week’s election forums

The mayoral forum Tuesday and City Council forum Wednesday both begin at 7 p.m. at the Clearwater Main Library.
There are 13 candidates running for three seats in the March 17 Clearwater City Council election. The city will host two forums this week.
There are 13 candidates running for three seats in the March 17 Clearwater City Council election. The city will host two forums this week. [ TRACEY MCMANUS | TRACEY MCMANUS ]
Published Feb. 10, 2020
Updated Feb. 10, 2020

CLEARWATER — They’ve been canvassing neighborhoods, posting yard signs and pitching their platforms at community events. Now voters have another chance to see the four mayoral candidates and nine City Council candidates in action.

The City of Clearwater will host a forum featuring the mayoral candidates on Tuesday and a forum for Seats 2 and 3 on Wednesday. Both events begin at 7 p.m. and will be held in the City Council chambers in the Main Library at 100 N Osceola Ave.

Former Bay News 9 Anchor Al Ruechel will moderate both forums.

The March 17 election features a crowded field of candidates. Running for mayor are: attorney and environmental activist Elizabeth ‘Sea Turtle’ Drayer, financial planner and former mayor Frank Hibbard, retired accountant and former four-term city council member Bill Jonson and business owner Morton Myers.

The Seat 2 City Council race features filmmaker and longtime Scientology critic Mark Bunker, business owner Mike Mannino, attorney Bruce Rector, retired technology supervisor Eliseo Santana and business owner Lina Teixeira.

Four candidates will compete for Seat 3: retired teacher Kathleen Beckman, incumbent Bob Cundiff, business owner Bud Elias and human resources director Scott Thomas.

The city will broadcast both forums live on the streaming video page at and the city’s Facebook page at It will also be shown on C-View TV, Clearwater’s cable access channel, on Spectrum (channel 638), Wow! (channel 15) and Frontier (channel 30).

Catch up on the races with previous coverage below. Make sure to pick up a copy of the Tampa Bay Times on Friday for a Know Your Candidates voter guide.

· Clearwater police, fire unions want ‘backs scratched’ this election

· Here’s where the money in the Clearwater election is coming from

· Where every Clearwater City Council candidate stands on Scientology

· In Clearwater, a new campaign pitch: City Council needs diversity

· A candidate with Scientology roots is running for Clearwater mayor

· A Florida woman wants a turtle to be mayor of Clearwater. She’s not kidding.

· He sat on Clearwater’s City Council for four terms. Now, Bill Jonson wants to be mayor.

· Frank Hibbard is running for mayor of Clearwater again. Here’s what he had to say about that.

· He has publicly criticized Scientology for decades. Now he’s running for Clearwater City Council.