HomePalm Bay33 total applicants for vacant Palm Bay City Council seat - some...

33 total applicants for vacant Palm Bay City Council seat – some familiar faces

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The applications deadline has come and gone for candidates wishing to fill the seat left vacant after former Councilman Pete Filiberto resigned following his DUI/Drugs arrest.

Last November, citizens in Palm Bay voted to change the City Charter to allow for the City Council to appoint a qualified candidate to fill a vacancy, as opposed to having a special election.

Councilman Filiberto was initially elected through a special election when Councilman Jeff Bailey resigned to take a job out of state.

We published two articles previously showing the first pool of applicants for the position. Due to the number of applicants that continued to come in, we decided to wait until the end of the application deadline to publish the rest. Council will have a week to evaluate the applicants and rank them from highest to lowest. The top 5 applicants (those with the lowest ranking score) will advance to the 2nd round of voting to eventually choose the winning candidate. That person will serve out the remainder of Filiberto’s term until the general election in 2024.

Although there were many new applicants, there were several familiar faces who have run for Palm Bay office before, or have been involved on city boards.

To view the previously published applicants, go here and here.

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Aaron Parr (Coach Parr), a Republican, threw his name in the hat. Parr, who is the Assistant Athletic Director at Bayside High School, previously ran against Jeff Bailey in 2018. Bailey was the incumbent at the time. Parr finished in the top 2 for the primary race, eventually losing to Jeff in the general. Shortly after the election, we broke the David Isnardi story where FBI/FDLE agents discovered the Bailey had admitted to taking illegal campaign donations, and illegal drug use. Had Parr won the election, he’d likely still be in the seat, saving Palm Bay from a history of now two consecutive councilmen with drug and law enforcement involvement.

Thomas Gaume, (NPA) has also applied. Gaume, with a reputation as a “watchdog” was responsible for uncovering several conspiracies with former Councilman Tres Holton, who was also caught up in the Isnardi case. Gaume ran against Holton in 2018, defeating him in the primary, but then later lost to Councilman Kenny Johnson in the general election. Gaume ran in 2020 against Councilman Randy Foster for former Councilman Brian Anderson’s seat (who was also part of the Isnardi investigation.) Since then, Gaume has continued volunteering with the city on advisory boards.

Thomas Rebman “The Homeless Teacher,” applied but then quickly withdrew his application a few days later. Rebman made a lengthy post on Facebook about why he was the man for the job, not long after he made a similar post about why he needed to retire from being a school teacher for health reasons, and that the stress would literally kill him. He has since deleted that post. Shortly after his application, we received numerous emails of alarming complaints from students and co-workers at his place of employment as a civics teacher. When asked why he removed his application, he stated he “needed to focus on his family.”

Kay Maragh, (Democrat) a real estate agent previously ran for Palm Bay Mayor against Mayor Rob Medina (Republican). Maragh was at an extreme disadvantage in funding against the well funded Medina. She lost the election by 9 points, but continues to serve on the city’s boards.

Richard “Mike” Hammer, (Republican) was a city employee for over 13 years. He’s a great grandson of the Platt family, one of the original founding families and major land owners in the City of Palm Bay. He left the city after being a whistleblower on corruption.

Anthony Yantz, (Democrat) is a relatively new political face who ran against State Representative Randy Fine the last election. He’s currently filed to run again for the same seat which is now open and Fine has termed out. His wife, Amber Yantz has also applied for the city council seat.

Dawn Bittar (Republican), is the Partner Relations Coordinator for the Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce. She has served on Palm Bay’s Citizens Budget Advisory Board and Community Development Board.

The other applicants are as follows:

Ashely Hepburn

Clay Gool

Denise Bowes

George Bozzetti

Janice Zynko

Jason Carrasquillo

Johnathan Ellis

Madsen Mileon

Marvin Tador

Michael Harrison

Michael Jaffe

Paul Galbreath

Robert Rogulski

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