Early voting is underway in Bedford for a special council election where four candidates are vying to fill a vacant council seat.
Al Guerrero, Rich Steves and Sal Caruso are in a race to replace Tom Burnett who resigned in April.
Charles Baetz is also on the ballot, but he said that he suspended his campaign two weeks ago in hopes of avoiding a runoff election to save the city money.
“I’m on the ballot. I don’t want people to vote for me,” Baetz said. He was also defeated in the May 1 council election.
Baetz said he is endorsing Steves in the Place 4 race.
Steves, who retired after 30 years in the federal government, has lived in Bedford for 33 years and is a former border patrol agent, U.S. Air Marshal and IRS examiner, according to his website.
Steves currently serves on the Bedford Parks and Recreation board, and his priorities include working with the mayor and city council to foster a business-friendly environment, diversifying the tax base to lessen the property tax burden and revitalizing store fronts, streets and neighborhoods.
Caruso, who is retired, served on the city’s Community Affairs Commission for seven years and also chaired the commission for four years.
He helped establish the small and large business of the year and resident of the year awards.
Caruso also led a petition drive to bring liquor stores to Bedford to help boost economic development. His priorities include improving code enforcement along with upgrading streets and infrastructure.
He also wants to work on efforts to revitalize the city, especially south Bedford.
Caruso said retaining first responders is also important.
“I have a passion to serve this city,” he said.
Guerrero, who works for the U.S. Postal Service, could not be reached for comment. Guerrero’s campaign finance report shows that he is listed as the treasurer and that he received no campaign donations and hasn’t spent any money.
Early voting and election day information
Election Day is Aug. 7. Early voting continues through Aug. 3 at the Bedford Public Library, 2424 Forest Ridge Dr.
Early voting schedule:
July 21 – 23, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
July 26 – 30, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
July 31, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
August 2 – 3, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.