Hyattsville Election 2013: Who's In, Who's Out?
Two of Hyattsville's longest-serving current council members will not be seeking re-election in the spring.
Hyattsville's mid-term council elections are less than six months away, set to be held on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. Half of Hyattsville's 10 city council members will be up for election, with one seat from each of the city's five wards to be contested over the coming months. The mayor's seat is not up for election until 2015.
The seats held by councilors Eric Wingard (Ward 1), David Hiles (Ward 2), Matt McKnight (Ward 3), Lizanne and Frazier will all be contested.
Frazier, who has served as the Ward 5 council member since 1997, said that she has been in elected office long enough. That doesn't mean that she'll be quitting civic life entirely, though. Frazier said that she still plans to remain active in the community through her participation in the Sonny Frazier Toy Drive and other local charities.
Lizanne, who has served since 2003, said that he wants to open his to seat to a new council member, one with "fresh ideas."
"10 years is enough for me," said Lizanne in a brief interview. "I don't want to make a career here."
Lizanne, who came to the United States from El Salvador as a child, is the only Hispanic council member. Asked if he was worried that his departure would deprive Hyattsville's Hispanic community of a voice on council, Lizanne said that he was trying to recruit a Hispanic community member to run for his seat.
Wingard, who was first elected in 2011 to fill a vacancy left when Mayor Marc Tartaro was elected to his current post, said that he plans on running for his Ward 1 seat again in the spring. That election only secured his seat for the remainder of Tartaro's original council term.
"If you look at the lifecycle of a first term, it's tough to get stuff done in the first two years," said Wingard. "You really need a full four years."
Hiles, who also serves at the council vice president, also said that he would be running again. Hiles was first elected to his Ward 2 seat in 2009.
Who's Neither in or Out…Yet
Only one member of the Hyattsville City Council whose seat is up for election this year, Council President and Ward 3 representative Matt McKnight, has declined to say if he's planning on running for his seat again.
"I'm not answering that question right now," said McKnight. He continued, saying that he would make an announcement after the first of the year.
Election Disclosure Changes
Whoever decides to run for local elected office this year will have to reveal a bit more information about themselves. This will be the first election contested under new ethics rules mandated by state law which require that elected officials and political hopefuls divulge information about their personal finances, property holdings and business ties with the city.