ELY – Ely residents will have a new mayor in 2021, but it will not be the candidate who received the most votes earlier this month. Mayoral election winner Eric Urbas officially informed the …
ELY – Ely residents will have a new mayor in 2021, but it will not be the candidate who received the most votes earlier this month. Mayoral election winner Eric Urbas officially informed the City Clerk on Wednesday that he will not accept the job.
Urbas pulled out of the race in August, citing ongoing health concerns, however, his announcement was too late to be removed from the ballot. He challenged incumbent Chuck Novak for the position. Urbas received 925 votes and Novak received 800 votes in the Nov. 3 election.
Urbas took a couple of weeks while deer hunting to mull his decision. He technically had until the end of the year. He confirmed his denial request application was submitted to the City Clerk’s office on Wednesday.
“I did a lot of thinking, without all the distractions, and the conclusion I came to was that I made the decision (to withdraw from the race) in August for a reason. I decided to stick with my reasons. I talked to a lot of people over the last couple of weeks, but in the end I needed to make the decision on my own.”
Urbas said he was amazed by all the support in the community.
“So many people think so highly of me, and that is much appreciated and so humbling,” he said
He encouraged others in the community to consider running for the office.
“We could still have a change,” he said, “it’s just not going to be me. My life here in the Ely community will continue, but more in the background. That’s what I like to do.”
He said he may consider serving on a city committee or commission in the future.
When City Council members meet for their first meeting of the new year on Jan. 5, they will declare a vacancy in the mayoral office and post a schedule for a special election. “The city will open a filing period for the position and set the date for a special election,” said Mayor Novak. “With the early voting procedures in place now, we may not have an election until April.”
An interim mayor will be appointed to fill the vacancy to serve when Novak vacates the seat on Jan. 5 until the results of the special election are certified.
“Everything is kind of fluid right now as we figure things out and wait for clarity from the Secretary of State’s office,” Novak said. When asked if was interested in continuing as mayor of Ely, he responded, “It is too early to tell. There are lots of issues to consider.”