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POLK COUNTY – In 2018, Lake Wales City Commissioner Terrye Howell turned in her completed candidate qualification paperwork for Seat Three around an hour after the official deadline — and, in doing so, failed to qualify for her own reelection.

Luckily for Howell, since no one else filed as a candidate for the seat that year, the commission later decided to appoint Howell to continue serving as the Seat Three commissioner on a term that ends May 5.

During a Lake Wales City Commission meeting Feb. 4, Lake Wales City Clerk Jennifer Nanek referenced this instance as part of a friendly reminder to file the necessary paperwork.

“I just wanted to check and confirm that everybody heard that the deadline is noon Friday, Feb. 21,” Nanek said.

Many of those who were present looked at Howell, who smiled. After the meeting, Howell confirmed she was running for reelection and that she would turn her paperwork in before the deadline this time.

“I won't forget,” Howell said with a smile.

Also up for reelection April 7 is Deputy Mayor Robin Gibson, who holds Seat Five on the commission. To qualify for either seat, interested individuals must be a resident living in that seat’s designated area. March 9 is the voter registration deadline to cast a ballot in the municipal election.

Alternate members of the Lake Wales Canvassing Board will be needed to help certify the election results. Gibson said those who volunteer will have an opportunity to learn a lot about the election process.

Contact Charles A. Baker III at